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This day that year: Remembering the greatest ODI of all time

The second semifinal of the 1999 cricket World Cup between Australia and South Africa ended in a dramatic tie on this day.

cricket Updated: Jun 17, 2018 17:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Cricket,Shane Warne,Lance Klusener
Australian spin wizard Shane Warne who claimed figures of 4/29 to bring his team back into the contest.(AFP)

Nine runs needed off six balls with a place in World Cup final at stake. This is the equation the last-wicket South African pair of Lance Klusener and Allan Donald have before them while gearing up to face Australian pacer Damien Fleming in a World Cup semifinal.

Klusener, who has had a dream tournament so far performing with both and ball, dispatches the first two deliveries from Fleming past fence for fours. South Africa now require only a single off four balls to win the game. The third delivery of the over turns out to be a dot ball.

On the fourth, Klusener hits one straight to Darren Lehmann past bowler and runs. Donald, however, is slow to respond as Lehmann throws the ball to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist at the other end who effects an easy run out.

The match ends in a tie and Australia by virtue of their victory over the same opposition in Super Six stage four days back march ahead into final. A pall of gloom descends over South African dressing room.

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This was the scene witnessed in the second semifinal of the seventh edition of cricket World Cup in Birmingham on June 17, 1999. Arguably considered the greatest ODI of all time, the match witnessed a see-saw battle throughout with Australia holding their nerves to seal a place in the World Cup final, which they went on to win against Pakistan later.


The match is also remembered for a magical spell from Australian spin wizard Shane Warne who claimed figures of 4/29 to bring his team back into the contest after South African openers had sauntered their way to 48 for no loss while chasing a moderate target of 214.

Immediately after his introduction, Warne bowled a superb leg spinner that took away Herschelle Gibbs’s off stump after being pitched on the leg stump. He then went on to dismiss Garry Kirsten, Hansie Cronje and Jacques Kallis to break the back of South African batting.

Though Klusener blasted a 16-ball 31 and threatened to win the game on his own towards the end, a mix-up with his partner Donald in the last over ended the Proteas’ hopes of making it to their first World Cup final.

Relive the last two overs of this memorable contest here:

YouTube link -

First Published: Jun 17, 2018 17:46 IST