Three greatest victories of South African Cricket


Mumbai: South African players pose with trophy after win one day series win against Indian during a one day match played in Mumbai on Sunday. PTI Photo by Santosh Hirlekar(PTI10_25_2015_000328B)

South Africa boasts one of the best cricket teams in the world. Over the years, the country has produced some of the finest batsmen and bowlers as well as all-rounders.

But despite their team quality, the 1998 Champions Trophy is their only win in the ICC-organised tournaments. The Proteas are often regarded as favourites by fans who back them for success through the registration guide, but mostly they end up on the losing side.

We can also call them one of the unluckiest cricket teams in the world. However, they have also had some excellent moments in the past, when they showed great resilience to down the best sides.

Below we look at some of their greatest victories.

1- Highest ODI run chase 

A cricket match cannot get better than this. Australia were quite a formidable force back then in 2006, with almost no team daring to get away with a win against them.

Therefore, when the Aussies posted 434 runs on the board in an ODI match in Johannesburg, it looked almost impossible that South Africa would be able to chase down that total. Captain Ricky Ponting hammered 164 with the help of 13 boundaries and nine sixers, while Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich and Michael Hussey also played important contributions in their runs total.

The Proteas got off to a horrible start with opener Boeta Dippenaar returning to the dressing room after scoring only one run. But then Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs built a solid partnership to restore some hope.

Smith departed on 90 before AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis also failed to stay long at the crease. But Gibbs frustrated all the Australian bowlers as he continued to score runs throughout the pitch. The right-hander posted 175 runs with 21 boundaries to his name.

But despite the efforts of Gibbs, the Proteas would still have come up short if not for the late heroics of Mark Boucher, who remained unbeaten on 50.

In the final over, South Africa needed six runs with two wickets to spare. Andrew Hall’s dismissal sparked some fears but Boucher hit a boundary off the second-last ball to seal one of the most remarkable victories for his side.

2- 2011 World Cup victory against India

India became the champions in the 2011 World Cup when they beat Sri Lanka in the final in Mumbai. However, not everything went their way during that tournament, and South Africa defeated them during the group stages.

MS Dhoni-led side put themselves in a commanding position after posting 296 runs on the board in 50 overs. Sachin Tendulkar was the standout performer who scored a brilliant century with the help of eight boundaries and three sixers.

Virender Sehwag also played a superb knock to build a solid opening partnership of 142 with Tendulkar. Gautam Gambhir also chipped in with 69 as India put together a formidable target.

In response, the Proteas batted just as well. Opener Hashim Amla gave them an impressive start as he scored 61 with the help of five boundaries. Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers also provided important contributions during their excellent chase, with the duo hitting half-centuries as well.

However, all their efforts wouldn’t have born fruit without the late fireworks of Robin Peterson. With 13 needed in the final over, the left-hander smashed Ashish Nehra for a boundary off the first ball before hitting a brilliant sixer. Peterson hammered another four as they reached the total and won the game in spectacular fashion.

3- 1999 World Cup win against Pakistan

One of their most famous victories came during the 1999 World Cup against Pakistan. The venue was the Trent Bridge Cricket Ground in Nottinghamshire, and the Green Shirts won the toss and elected to bat first.

Pakistan reached a healthy total of 220 with the help of small contributions from the majority of their batsmen. Saeed Anwar, Abdul Razzaq and Ijaz Ahmed all exceeded the figure of 20, while Wajahatullah Wasti and Mohammad Yousuf chipped in with 17 each. However, it was Moin Khan who scored a blistering 63 runs, with six boundaries and two sixes to his name.

With the brilliant bowling attack consisting of Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim Akram, the target looked sufficient to secure them a comfortable victory. And the magic of the two bowlers worked as they left South Africa 58 for 5.

The Proteas’ fans had little hope left. Their situation wasn’t unlike the betting enthusiasts of horse racing insider who follow only top contender to see their favourite on the verge of defeat.

However, Jacques Kallis and Shaun Pollock didn’t give up and fought bravely to keep the runs flowing. When the two ultimately departed, all the burden on Lance Klusener and the amazing all-rounder didn’t disappoint. A superb 46-runs knock from Klusener ultimately led South Africa to an exhilarating victory with six balls remaining.

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