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Best of the ODIs at Kingsmead


Kingsmead_Durban_South_Africa_Ground_ODI_CricketKingsmead in Durban will play host to the third ODI of the ongoing five-match series between South Africa and Sri Lanka this Sunday, with both teams looking to prove a point ahead of the World Cup that commences in May. One of the most established international venues in South Africa, Kingsmead has so far hosted 45 ODIs, including five matches at the 2003 World Cup.

Here is a look back at six of the most enthralling ODI duels contested at the picturesque ground.

South Africa v Pakistan, First ODI, Total International Series, 1992-93

This was Pakistan’s first ODI on South African soil, and they made it memorable with a stunning come-from-behind win. Led by Wasim Akram, Pakistan finished at an uninspiring 208/6 after electing to bat. Inzamam-ul-Haq scored 47 from number three before getting run out, while Asif Mujtaba provided late impetus with an unbeaten 49. When the opening pair of Andrew Hudson and captain Kepler Wessels built a stand of 101, South Africa seemed to be cruising to victory.

Hudson put on another 58 for the second wicket with Peter Kirsten, and went on to score 93 before being castled by Waqar Younis to make the score 165/3 in the 42nd over. From that point onwards, the tables turned dramatically, as Waqar produced some fantastic swing bowling to return figures of 5/25. Three crucial run-outs only added to South Africa’s woes, and they were eventually bowled out for 198 off the last ball. Fittingly, it was Waqar who took the final wicket.

South Africa v Zimbabwe, Sixth ODI, Standard Bank International Series, 1999-00

Eight months after slaying South Africa at the World Cup, Zimbabwe did it again, this time in a tri-series encounter (England were the third side in the competition). South Africa endured a slump following an opening stand of 40 between Herschelle Gibbs and Louis Koen, and stuttered to 112/6 against Zimbabwe’s pacers. Redemption came through Jacques Kallis (52) and Lance Klusener (65*), who shared in a seventh-wicket stand of 82 that helped carry the total to 222/7.

Zimbabwe lost Grant Flower for a duck early, but Neil Johnson raced to a brisk 35. The dismissal of Craig Wishart made the score 57/2, and eight runs later, Kallis accounted for Johnson to bring the Proteas back in the contest. The hosts continued to build the pressure, and by the 29th over, Zimbabwe were struggling at 107/6. However, Zimbabwe were also rescued by a meaty seventh-wicket partnership, the architects being skipper Andy Flower and Guy Whittall.

The pair assuredly put on 91, and when Flower was out to Henry Williams (3/38) for 59, Zimbabwe required 25 runs from four overs with three wickets in hand. Whittall seemed set to stay till the end, but he was run out by a direct hit from Gibbs in the 49th over. The target was now ten runs from nine balls, which was whittled down to four from the last over, bowled by Kallis. With one to win off the last ball, Streak stole a single to seal Zimbabwe’s two-wicket win.

South Africa v Sri Lanka, World Cup Group Stage, 2002-03

Defeats to the West Indies and New Zealand meant that hosts South Africa faced a must-win situation in their final group game of the 2003 World Cup. Sri Lanka wobbled to 90/3, but the innings was revived by an attacking fourth-wicket stand of 152 between Marvan Atapattu and Aravinda de Silva (73). The partnership was broken when Atapattu perished for a sublime 124 in 129 balls, and though South Africa got a few late strikes, the final total was a challenging 268/9.

Openers Graeme Smith and Gibbs (73) added 65 at a quick rate, but the spin trio of de Silva, Muttiah Muralitharan and Sanath Jayasuriya applied the brakes by sharing five wickets between them, thus reducing the score to 149/5 in the 30th over. Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher and captain Shaun Pollock combined for a sixth-wicket stand of 63, before the latter was run out. With the equation now 57 runs in 45 balls, it was left to Boucher and Klusener to keep South Africa alive.

Heavy rain added to the tense atmosphere, bringing the Duckworth/Lewis method into the picture. Having hit a six off the penultimate ball of the 45th over (which turned out to be the last over) to get the score to 229/6, Boucher (45*) simply nudged the last ball to leg, thinking that he had done enough. However, in a cruel twist, it soon emerged that South Africa had in fact miscalculated – they had only managed to tie the match, which led to their exit from the tourney.

South Africa v Australia, Fourth ODI, 2005-06

Australia drew level in the five-match series with a nail-biting one-wicket win under lights. Smith chose to bat first, but was dismissed by Nathan Bracken in the second over after scoring just one run. Bracken also got rid of Gibbs, leaving the Proteas at a precarious 9/2. Boeta Dippenaar held the innings together with a gritty 101, and his 72-run partnerships with AB de Villiers and Pollock (53*), for the third and seventh wickets respectively, lifted the total to 246/9.

Adam Gilchrist (45) and Simon Katich (46) put on 87 for the first wicket, but a flurry of wickets saw Australia fall to 140/5. Andrew Symonds took charge thereafter, scoring a 71-ball 76 before being seventh out at 218. Yet, the Australians still needed six when the ninth wicket fell. To their relief, the last pair of Stuart Clark and Mick Lewis held their nerve to secure victory with five balls left. South Africa won the decider at Johannesburg, famously chasing down a target of 435.

South Africa v New Zealand, First ODI, 2007-08

South Africa inched ahead in the three-match series with a two-wicket win off the last ball. After New Zealand had posted 248/6 (Jamie How 90), South Africa lost Morne van Wyk and Kallis to Kyle Mills with only nine on the board. De Villiers (87) inspired a recovery, but Mills (5/25) kept striking at key stages. It boiled down to 11 needed off the last over, to be bowled by Mark Gillespie. With five to win in two balls, Andre Nel smote a four before taking the winning single.

South Africa v Australia, Third ODI, 2016-17

Having lost the first two ODIs in the five-match series, Australia had every reason to feel optimistic of pulling one back when they amassed a total of 371/6. After all, only once had a higher target been successfully chased in ODI history. David Warner (117) set the tone by sharing in a whirlwind opening partnership of 110 with Aaron Finch (53), before adding a further 124 for the second wicket with captain Steven Smith (108). The last five overs brought 65 runs.

South Africa began well, with openers Quinton de Kock (70) and Hashim Amla (49) adding 66 at a fast clip. But the lack of substantial middle-order partnerships gave Australia the edge, and at the fall of the sixth wicket, the Proteas needed 107 in 74 balls. David Miller was undeterred though, and proceeded to cream 118* in just 79 balls. His seventh-wicket stand of 107* with Andile Phehlukwayo (42*) gave his team a remarkable four-wicket win with four balls to spare.

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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