27 June 2019, by: Carl Lewis

SOUTH AFRICA V AUSTRALIA: THE HISTORY AT THE WORLD CUP

South Africa face Australia in the final round-robin match of the World Cup on Friday. Pre-tournament it seemed plausible that a lot of would-be riding on this fixture, instead it’s a dead rubber.

It’s the first time the two nations meet in a World Cup match since 2007. They have produced some of the most memorable matches in World Cup history.

We take a look at some of the best matches over the years…

BET: South Africa v Australia

World Cup 1992 - Group Stage - Sydney

Australia 170/9 (49 overs)

A Donald 3/34 (10 overs)

R Snell 0/15 (9 overs)

South Africa 171/1 (46.5 overs)

K  Wessels 81*

P Kirsten 49*

South Africa won by 9 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)

South Africa as a nation was in the process of deep-rooted societal change as the national cricket team headed to there first-ever World Cup.

This was South Africa’s first match of the tournament. Tearaway quick Allan Donald’s 3/34 combined with the tight lines of Richard Snell restricted the Aussies. The hosts limped to 170/9 from their 49 overs.

Captain Kepler Wessels (81*), who had donned the Baggy Green a few years before, played a superb inning and partnered with Peter Kirsten (49*) to help South Africa coast to victory with three overs remaining.

The victory remains the only time South Africa have beaten the Aussies at the World Cup.

World Cup 1999 - Super Six Stage - Leeds

South Africa 271/7 (50 overs)

H Gibbs 101

Australia 272/5 (49.4 overs)

S Waugh 120*

Australia won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)

South Africa was an impressive ODI unit under Bob Woolmer and Hansie Cronje. They would have backed themselves to overcome a strong Australian side.

The Proteas powered their way to 271, with Herschelle Gibbs making a superb century. Daryll Cullinan added 50 while Jonty Rhodes and Lance Klusener chipped in with 30 run cameos at the back end. It was a competitive total.

Australia’s response got off to a rocky start at 48/3. Them skipper Steve Waugh walked out to the middle out and with Ricky Ponting led the fightback.

The key moment of the match came when Waugh was on 56, with the score on 152. Waugh flicked a delivery to midwicket. Gibbs seems to have safely taken the catch but during his celebration, he dropped the ball.

Waugh duly punished South Africa with an unbeaten 120 from 110 balls in what will be remembered as one of the best ODI finings of all time. Australia took the match but there would be a second meeting soon.

World Cup 1999 - Semi-Final - Birmingham

Australia 213 (49.2 overs)

M Bevan 65

S Pollock 5/36 (9.2 overs)

A Donald 4/42 (10 overs)

South Africa 213 (49.4 overs)

J Kallis 53

L Klusener 31*

Match tied

One of the best World Cup matches of all time, the semi-final had more twists and turns than one could fathom.

Shaun Pollock (5/36) and Allan Donald (4/42) were in fine form helping to restrict Australia to 213 all out.

South Africa’s response was efficient and it seemed they would cruise the match. Enter Shane Warne who produced magic, dismantling South Africa’s middle order and ending with figures of 4/29.

Once again, player of the tournament Lance Klusener came out swinging and forced his side back into the match. Unfortunately, his heroics will always be overshadowed by that moment.

With three balls left, one run was all that was needed for South Africa to win. Klusener squirted a Fleming yorker to mid-off.  He set off for a run, Donald at the other end was in two minds. Donald then dropped his bat in the mix-up and was well short when Gilchrist knocked off the bails.

The result was a tie, but Australia went through to the final. It still is most heartbreaking moment in South African cricket. According to Cullinan, it was the birth of the ‘chokers’ tag.

World Cup 2007 - Group Stage - Basseterre

Australia 377/6 (50 overs)

M Hayden 101

South Africa 294 (48 overs)

AB de Villiers 92

Australia won by 83 runs

The first time the two sides met at the World Cup since 1999. Australia, more specifically Matthew Hayden came out in a destructive mood as he hurtled towards a century off 68 balls. He was well supported by Rickey Ponting (91) and Michael Clarke (92). Australia ended on a commanding 377/6 in their 50 overs.

To their credit, South Africa began their innings with intent as captain Graeme Smith (72*) and AB de Villiers (92) put on a 160 run stand in just 20 overs. The Proteas were well in the match.

Unfortunately, the opening stand was as good as it got. Smith retired hurt while the rest of the batting order collapsed. South Africa were bowled out 294.

2007- Semi-Final - Gros Islet

South Africa 149 (43.5 overs)

J Kemp 49

G McGrath 3/18 (8 overs)

S Tait 4/39 (10 overs)

Australia 153/3 (31.3 overs)

M Clarke 60*

Australia won by 7 wickets (with 111 balls remaining)

South Africa and Australia were known to produce classics but the World Cup semi-final was as straightforward as it comes. Mainly thanks to an excellent spell of bowling from Glenn McGrath, which helped the Aussies cruise to victory.

Mcgrath’s accuracy and Shaun Tait’s raw pace dismantled the Proteas batting line-up. Only Gibbs and Justin Kemp offered some resistance but South Africa were bundled out for 149.

As you would expect, Australia knocked off the runs with ease and South Africa were dumped out at the semi-final stage by the Aussies once again. The effort in the semi-final did not sit well with the South African public.

Further Proteas reading...

After such a poor World Cup, a full post-mortem and review is necessary from Cricket South Africa regarding the state and future of SA Cricket.

We took a look at coach Ottis Gibson’s future as well as captain Faf du Plessis’ as the fallout of the Proteas worst World Cup campaign begins.

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