Birmingham: Why is it that South Africa was unable to play with such dominance against other teams earlier in this tournament?
South African skipper Faf Du Plessis himself wasn't sure of the reason, but he did point out that chasing 200 was easier than chasing a score like 350.
Responding to questions posed to him after his team’s emphatic nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Friday, he noted that "when it's a small score, one can bat at your own tempo."
He also praised his bowlers, especially Dwaine (Pretorius). "After the first six overs, the bowlers did a really good job and they put their skills together."
Again questions turned to the fact that when Amla and himself could stroke so well on Friday, wouldn’t it have been good for them if such knocks had come in earlier in the tournament?
“I personally feel I batted really well throughout the tournament. I have been getting starts, but just haven't been able to convert it into big scores. I suppose there's always that fine balance when you are chasing big scores that you have to go through times of risks and times of just playing the pace of the innings.
I suppose there's always that fine balance when you are chasing big scores that you have to go through times of risks and times of just playing the pace of the innings.
"Today, the pace of the innings was dictated by the batters. When you are chasing a much higher score, the risk of your game goes up quite a bit. So I think I've made quite a few mistakes trying to take on the game and trying to get to the run rate we needed.”
Du Plessis was also asked whether the win over Sri Lanka was a hollow one, to which he admitted: “It still feels hollow. It's great winning, obviously, but it it is very bittersweet because we know that we've let a lot of people down, and that was never the plan. So we will enjoy in the changing room.
"We will get together and enjoy the performance. But surely when we go back there will still be that hollow feeling of how better we could have done in this tournament. Although we haven't been great this tournament, we certainly haven't been that far off the ball.”
But the one crazy thing this World Cup has taught the skipper is that different teams on their day can beat anyone.
"So many of the games in this tournament had very low margins of winning...so clearly one has to be on top of your game in international cricket," Du Plessis remarked.
So was it the absence of the pressure of reaching the semi-finals that helped them produce a good show against Sri Lanka?
Again Du Plessis couldn't really say yes to that.
But he did feel that a look at the facts surely points towards that. Without taking too much credit for themselves, he added: “I think it's just that our bowling was working today. In the last two games, there were signs of good bowling and poor bowling.
"We've chased almost 300 in every game. I think 80 percent of the games have been high-scoring games and that is a different beast in a World Cup when you are chasing a big score. And chasing 200 is a far easier task than chasing a big score because then you are facing against a scoreboard pressure.”