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Who would have predicted that: South Africa stumble on the 'C word' in 1999 World Cup semi against Australia

Gary Kirsten - South Africa is bowled by Shane Warne - Australia

In our new 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.


The stakes are as high as they can get. It is the 2nd semi-final of the 1999 World Cup. Australia 213. A brain fade from Allan Donald. South Africa 213. Match tied. A "Final" chance for the Proteas gone begging.


Australia set a below-par 213-run target for South Africa in their World Cup semi-final match at Edgbaston, Birmingham. But the Proteas made a mess of the chase, getting all out for the same score from a winning position, and losing on the chance to play their first ever World Cup final.


Match Summary


Australia 213(49.2 Overs) - Michael Bevan65 (101), Steve Waugh56 (76); Allan Donald4/32 (10), Shaun Pollock5/36 (9.2)


South Africa 213(49.4 Overs) - Jacques Kallis53 (92), Jonty Rhodes43 (55); Paul Reiffel1/28 (8), Shane Warne4/29 (10)


Result - Match tied, Australia qualified to the Final


As Australia were struggling for 68-4, skipper Steve Waugh was dropped at mid-wicket by Herschelle Gibbs off Lance Klusener, while going for an immature celebration. The incident has since assumed a kind of urban legend with many versions of what Waugh had said to Gibbs. One popular version was, "You've just dropped the World Cup."


Waugh scored 56 off 76 balls, and stitched a match-winning 90-run stand with Michael Bevan (65 off 101 balls) for the fifth wicket to help Australia post a fighting total.


Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Mark Waugh, 0.5 ov), 2-54 (Ricky Ponting, 13.1 ov), 3-58 (Darren Lehmann, 13.6 ov), 4-68 (Adam Gilchrist, 16.6 ov), 5-158 (Steve Waugh, 39.3 ov), 6-158 (Tom Moody, 39.6 ov), 7-207 (Shane Warne, 47.6 ov), 8-207 (Paul Reiffel, 48.1 ov), 9-207 (Damien Fleming, 48.3 ov), 10-213 (Michael Bevan, 49.2 ov).


Decent knocks from Jacques Kallis and Jonty Rhodes under tremendous pressure had kept South Africa in the match. Proteas needed nine runs from the last over, with the dangerous Lance Klusener and last-man Allan Donald in the centre.


Klusener, having already established himself as one of the best finishers, hit the first ball for a four, thus leaving the equation to a run a ball, five off five. To make matters worse for the Aussies, Zulu hit the next ball for another four. Scores levelled.


After a dot ball, the Proteas ran for a single, well the winning run, after Klusener found a heavy bottom edge past the bowler straight to Steve Waugh. Donald opted to head back instead of going towards the danger end at the first opportunity, and in the process of turning his way back, lost his bat. With Klusener already near the bowler's end, Donald finally decided to complete the single. But it was too late.


Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Herschelle Gibbs, 12.2 ov), 2-53 (Gary Kirsten, 14.1 ov), 3-53 (Hansie Cronje, 14.3 ov), 4-61 (Daryll Cullinan, 21.2 ov), 5-145 (Jonty Rhodes, 40.3 ov), 6-175 (Jacques Kallis, 44.5 ov), 7-183 (Shaun Pollock, 45.5 ov), 8-196 (Mark Boucher, 48.2 ov), 9-198 (Steve Elworthy, 48.4 ov), 10-213 (Allan Donald, 49.4 ov)


 Australia went through to the final on account of finishing higher in the Super 6 stage. They went onto win the final, beating Pakistan.




Australia - Adam Gilchrist (wk), Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Darren Lehmann, Steve Waugh (c), Michael Bevan, Tom Moody, Shane Warne, Paul Reiffel, Damien Fleming, Glenn McGrath


South Africa - Gary Kirsten, Herschelle Gibbs, Daryll Cullinan, Hansie Cronje (c), Jacques Kallis, Jonty Rhodes, Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener, Mark Boucher (wk), Steve Elworthy, Allan Donald


Match Details


Match: AUS vs RSA, 2nd SF, ICC World Cup, 1999 

Date: Thursday, June 17, 1999 

Toss: South Africa won the toss and opt to bowl 

Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham 

Umpires: David Shepherd, Srinivas Venkataraghavan 

Third Umpire: Steve Bucknor 

Match Referee: Raman Subba Row 


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