Sunday, September 25, 2022

Ten years ago: South Africa pulled off the impossible


The five match ODI series was leveled at 1-1 and Australia opted to bat in the decider.

Aussie openers Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich got the team off to a flyer and scored a 97-run partnership on their first wicket before the wicket-keeper batsman fell after scoring 55 runs from 44 balls which included nine boundaries.

Captain Ricky Ponting was the next batsman in and he bludgeoned the South African bowlers to all parts of the Wanderers stadiums. He and Katch contributed 119 runs on the second wicket before Makhaya Ntini got the left hander caught on 79 runs as Australia lost its second wicket with 216 runs on board.

Things did not improve for the hosts and Ponting and Michael Hussey kept striking the bowlers to the boundary. The match was like watching a highlights packing.

Hussey and Ponting put up a 158-run partnership on the third wicket before Ponting departed after playing a captain’s knock of 164 runs from 105 balls which included 13 boundaries and three sixes.

Michael Hussey remained not out at 81 while Andrew Symonds made 27 runs for the side. Australia managed 434/4 in their 50 overs.

South Africa, chasing 435 runs runs to win, lost their first wicket with three runs on the board as Boeta Dippenaar was clean bowled by Nathan Bracken after making just a run.

Herschelle Gibbs was the next man in. He and captain Graeme Smith put up a 187-run stand on the second wicket as they took the challenge to Australian bowlers.

Smith was caught by Hussey from the bowling of Michael Clarke after scoring 90-runs from 55 balls with the help of 13 boundaries and two maximums.

South Africa were reduced to 299/4 AB de Villiers scored made 14 runs for the team before Gibbs was dismissed caught out after making a delightful 175 runs from 111 balls with 21 fours and seven sixes to his name.

Jacques Kallis and Justin Kemp scored 20 and 13 respectively.

The match was seeming heading back into the visitors’ grasp but Mark Boucher’s half century and a quick fire 19 from Johan van der Wath brought the South African team home with a ball and a wicket to spare.

The match was a roller coaster ride and the momentum kept swinging towards both side. In the end, it was the Proteas who ended up as the winner in the greatest one day international ever to be contested.


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