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Who would have predicted that: Gary Kirsten 188* hits highest score by any South African batsman in ODIs

South Africa's Gary Kirsten

In our feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.

Faf du Plessis came close with 185 against Sri Lanka at Cape Town in 2017, but Gary Kirsten's score of 188* during the 1996 World Cup still remains the highest individual score by a South African batsman in ODIs. The knock was the highest individual score in World Cups and the second-highest ODI score at the time.


Match Summary


South Africa 321/2 (50 overs) - Gary Kirsten* 188 (159), Hansie Cronje 57 (62); Johanne Samarasekera 1/39 (9), Sultan Zarawani 1/69 (10)

 United Arab Emirates 152/8 (50 overs) - Arshad Laeeq* 43 (79), Shaukat Dukanwala* 40 (78); Brian McMillan 3/11(8), Allan Donald 3/21 (10)


Result - South Africa won by 169 runs


When you think of Richie Benaud, you think of an iconic commentator who brought about a paradigm shift in cricket commentary and journalism. However, many forget the fact that he played 63 Test matches for Australia before that. Likewise, Gary Kirsten is now best known in the sub-continent as a leading coach who saw India to the 2011 World Cup triumph.

But, Kirsten is one of the few batting greats from South Africa to have played more than 100 Test matches and sports an average of over 45 in Test cricket with as many as 21 centuries. The batsman hit his highest ODI score and the highest by any South African batsman in the second match of the Wills World Cup in 1996 at Rawalpindi.



Opening the batting along with Andrew Hudson, Kristen remained unbeaten and scored 188 from 159 deliveries. The knock included 13 fours and 4 sixes and came at a strike rate of close to 120. South Africa posted 321 on the back of the century.

Fall of wickets: 1-60 (Andrew Hudson), 2-176 (Hansie Cronje)

Allan Donald was then at his best and returned with figures of 10-21-3. He got great support from Brian McMillan who also picked up three wickets.

The Proteas restricted United Arab Emirates to just 152/8 from their 50 overs.

 Fall of wickets: 1-24 (Azhar Saeed), 2-42 (Ganesh Mylvaganam), 3-46 (Vijay Mehra), 4-60 (Mohammad Aslam), 5-62 (Mazhar Hussain), 6-68 (Johanne Samarasekera), 7-70 (Sultan Zarawani), 8-72 (Imtiaz Abbasi)




South Africa - Andrew Hudson, Gary Kirsten, Hansie Cronje (c), Daryll Cullinan, Jacques Kallis, Jonty Rhodes, Brian McMillan, Shaun Pollock, Steve Palframan (wk), Craig Matthews, Allan Donald 

 United Arab Emirates - Azhar Saeed, Ganesh Mylvaganam, Mazhar Hussain, Vijay Mehra, Mohammad Aslam, Arshad Laeeq, Johanne Samarasekera, Sultan Zarawani (c), Imtiaz Abbasi (wk), Shaukat Dukanwala, Shahzad Altaf


Match Details


Match: RSA v UAE, 2nd Match, Wills World Cup, 1996 

Date: Friday, February 16, 1996 

Toss: United Arab Emirates won the toss and decided to bowl  

Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi 

Umpires: Steve Bucknor, V.K.Ramaswamy

Third Umpire: Anil Sarkar 

Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle 


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