1999 Cricket World Cup 2nd semi-final

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The second semi-final of the 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup was a famous cricket match played between South Africa and Australia on 17 June 1999 at Edgbaston, England. It ended in a tie, but Australia qualified for the final because of their victory over the South Africans in the preceding Super Six stage match. Australia went on to beat Pakistan in the final on 20 June. The match is most remembered for the disastrous run out involving Allan Donald and Lance Klusener which ended the game.


Background[edit]

13 June 1999
Scorecard
 South Africa
271/7 (50 overs)
v
 Australia
272/5 (49.4 overs)
Herschelle Gibbs 101 (134)
Damien Fleming 3/57 (10 overs)
Steve Waugh 120* (110)
Steve Elworthy 2/46 (10 overs)
Australia won by 5 wickets
Headingley, Leeds, England
Umpires: Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan (IND) and Peter Willey (ENG)
Player of the match: Steve Waugh (AUS)

The two teams met in a Super six match which would prove instrumental and would eventually prove to be the deciding factor in determining which team would qualify for the final. South Africa batted first and put up a competitive total with Herschelle Gibbs scoring 101. Australia began shakily losing wickets at regular intervals. The turning point of the match occurred when captain Steve Waugh was dropped by Gibbs at short mid-wicket when Gibbs attempted to throw the ball up into the air in celebration, only for the ball to slip through his fingers. After the dropped chance Waugh was reported to have famously said to Gibbs "You've just dropped the world cup". However in a later interview Waugh denied saying this but the quote has lived on in cricketing folklore. [1] Waugh went on to score an unbeaten 120 and guided Australia home by 5 wickets. Had Australia not won the game they would have been knocked out of the World Cup. As it happened, the victory allowed them to finish in second place and qualify to play South Africa.

The match[edit]

Details[edit]

17 June 1999
Scorecard
Australia 
213 (49.2 overs)
v
 South Africa
213 (49.4 overs)
Michael Bevan 65 (110)
Shaun Pollock 5/36 (9.2 overs)
Jacques Kallis 53 (92)
Shane Warne 4/29 (10 overs)
Match Tied
Edgbaston, Birmingham, England
Umpires: David Shepherd and Srinivas Venkataraghavan
Player of the match: Shane Warne


South Africa won the toss and elected to field. In seaming conditions, Australia managed to put up a total of 213 with Michael Bevan and Steve Waugh scoring vital half-centuries. Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald tore through the middle and lower order picking up 9 of the ten wickets between them. South Africa began their chase steadily with Kirsten and Gibbs putting on a good opening partnership. Wickets then fell at regular intervals as South Africa collapsed to 61-4. Jonty Rhodes and Jacques Kallis then put together a vital partnership taking South Africa within 40 runs of victory. Through some valuable runs from Mark Boucher and Pollock, and some big hitting from Lance Klusener, South Africa moved closer to the target

Final Over[edit]

South Africa entered the final over at 205/9, needing a further nine runs to win. The two men at the crease were Lance Klusener who was on strike and Allan Donald at the other end. Damien Fleming was the bowler.

  • 1st ball : Fleming bowled a full ball to Klusener who cover drove it away to the boundary for four runs
  • 2nd ball : Fleming again bowled full but Kluesner also hit this ball hard along the ground past Mark Waugh, who was standing at long-off. Klusener had made his way to 31 runs off just 14 balls and South Africa were now level, but they still needed one more run to advance into the final. On this delivery, South African commentator Mike Proctor said "He’s hit it hard...that’s Mark Waugh down there, he won’t get it - they are level! What kind of shot is that? That’s unbelievable, is he going to do it again for South Africa? He has done it on so many occasions. The first two deliveries of this over, he has gone bang, bang four, four - take that! Scores are level, South Africa need one to win to reach the final." At that point, Bill Lawry reminded him that South Africa only had one wicket in hand and Australia would go through in the event of a tie.

At that point, the Australian captain, Steve Waugh, brought his field up inside the circle to prevent a single being taken.

  • 3rd ball : The third ball saw Klusener mis-hit his shot to Darren Lehmann, who was standing at mid-on. Allan Donald was backing up a long way at the non-strikers end, and if Lehmann's close range throw at the stumps had hit, Donald would have been easily run out. Mike Proctor remarked "that could be the difference between a World Cup final or nothing."
  • 4th ball : The fourth ball was similar to the third. Klusener mis-hit to Mark Waugh at mid off, but this time Klusener went for the run, even though the chances of a run out were high and there were still two balls remaining. Klusener sprinted down the pitch while Donald, at the other end, was not watching him and did not hear the call to run. Waugh threw the ball to Fleming who rolled it to Adam Gilchrist. Donald (who had dropped his bat) was run out by some distance for a diamond duck. Bill Lawry commentating on the final ball said, "There it is, this will be out surely - oh it's out, it's gonna be run out...oh, that is South Africa out - Donald did not run, I cannot believe it. Australia go into the World Cup Final - ridiculous running with two balls to go. Donald did not go, Klusener came - what a disappointing end for South Africa. What a match for our viewers right around the world."

The match was tied but Australia went into the final against Pakistan because they finished higher in the Super Sixes.

Legacy[edit]

Australia went on to win the 1999 Cricket World Cup Final beating Pakistan by eight wickets after bowling them out cheaply and also had maintained an undefeated streak in world cup matches that was broken in their final group match of the 2011 World Cup. As for South Africa this match continued their trend of choking in the Cricket World Cup. In 1992 South Africa lost after rain intervened and forced them to score an impossible 22 runs off one ball. While in 1996 South Africa had won all of their games before losing in the quarterfinals. Donald and most of his team mates were in tears after the result and most of them put towels over their heads to hide this. [2]

The game has been regarded by many as one of the greatest games of cricket of all time - across all formats of the game. The game is mostly remembered for the South African's choke in the final over with it being voted the second biggest sporting choke of all time by the Times newspaper. [3] Cricinfo referred to the game as the third greatest of the 20th century and is easily the highest ranked one day international with most of the other games being test matches.[4] Steve Waugh called it "the best game of cricket I've played" while the Sydney Morning Herald ranked it the 20th biggest moment in Australian cricket [5] Rob Steen ranked it as one of the greatest games that he has ever seen because of the different twists and turns that happened in the match [6] Shaun Pollock was once told at the races not to make a bet on number 10 because that horse can't run this is even though Donald was the number 11 batsman for South Africa. [7] Wisden, a cricket magazine, had this to say about the game " This was not merely the match of the tournament: it must have been the best one-day international of the 1,483 so far played. The essence of the one-day game is a close finish, and this was by far the most significant to finish in the closest way of all - with both teams all out for the same score." [8] The twists and turns and the close finish mean that this game was considered the perfect one day international from an entertainment perspective. The subsequent record-breaking match between Australia and South Africa in 2006 continued the close rivalry between the two teams.

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