What Made The 1999 World Cup Aus Vs SA Semi-Final The Greatest ODI Ever Played
Ever since the advent of the limited overs format in Cricket in the early 1970s, the age-old game with white uniforms, a red ball and 5-days of play evolved into something more exciting, energetic and action-packed. There are countless ODIs already played on the international level but there’s one match that stands out in the plethora of limited overs format – The 1999 Cricket World Cup Semi-Final.
Australia took on South Africa for a berth in the 1999 Cricket World Cup finals on the 17th of June, 1999. Looking back at this epic clash now, it was a match between two of the best teams in the history of ODI cricket with several legends of the game featuring in it.
Let’s have a look at this encounter and what made it probably the best ever one-day game.
The World Cup Of Legends
The 1999 World Cup organised by the ICC was held in England with 12 participating teams divided into two groups of six teams teach. Some of the biggest names and legends of the game today were playing this World Cup. It was a tournament where players like Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Kallis, Jonty Rhodes, Lance Klusener, Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Gilchrist, Warne, Mc Grath, Jayasuriya, Muralitharan, Aravinda De Silva, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Saqlain Mushtaq and Brian Lara had battled it out for their respective teams.
Group Stages of the World Cup
The Aus Vs SA Super Six Encounter & The Dropped Catch
South Africa scored a competitive 271/7 with Herschelle Gibbs scoring a century. Australians were struggling in the chase at one time at 48-3 when Ponting and Steve Waugh came to the rescue. Captain Steve Waugh was dropped at 57 by Gibbs at short mid-wicket as Gibbs tried to throw the ball up into the air in celebration as it slipped through his fingers. Waugh reportedly said to Gibbs “You’ve just dropped the World Cup!” However, Waugh later denied this and told that he said Gibbs, “Look, do you realise you’ve just cost your team the game.”
Semi-Final 2: Australia vs South Africa
Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock tore in the Australian batting attack as they were reduced for 68-4. Steve Waugh came to the rescue again scoring 56 before Pollock and Donald came into the action. While wickets kept falling on the other end, Michael Bevan stayed till the very last over scoring a solid 65. As many as four batsmen were out for a duck including Mark Waugh.
South African Innings
The Proteas were reduced to 61-4 in reply with Warne sending three batsmen to the pavilion. Jonty Rhodes scored 43 off 55 balls before being dismissed while Kallis was batting at 53 and Pollock was at the other end. At 175-5 in 44.4 overs, South Africa had to score 49 off 32 balls for a victory. Kallis was dismissed in this stage and Lance Klusener came to the crease. Lance Klusener started hitting boundaries on one end while wickets started to fall on the other.
The Final Over
South Africa & The Chokers Tag
People & Media
EspnCricinfo also featured this match in the list of the 100 greatest Cricket matches played in the 20th Century.