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Who would have predicted that: Zimbabwe all-rounder Neil Johnson stuns South Africa at 1999 World Cup

Zimbabwe batsman Neil Johnson
©Reuters
 

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.

 

Zimbabwe all-rounder Neil Johnson was on fire during the 1999 men's Cricket World Cup. He bagged three Man of the Match awards during the tournament, the most memorable of which was his effort of three wickets and 76 runs against South Africa as Zimbabwe registered one of the biggest upsets of all time.

 

Match Summary

 

Zimbabwe 233/6 (50 overs) - Neil Johnson 76 (117) Murray Goodwin 34 (45); Allan Donald 3/41(10), Steve Elworthy 1/32(6)

 

South Africa 185 (47.2 overs) - Lance Klusener 52* (58), Shaun Pollock 52 (81); Neil Johnson 3/27 (8), Heath Streak 3/35 (9)

 

Result - Zimbabwe won by 48 runs

 

Zimbabwe batted first and the opening pair of Neil Johnson and Grant Flower added 65 runs. Johnson then had partnerships with Murray Goodwin and Andy Flower as the scoreboard kept ticking along.

 

Alan Donald was the most successful South African bowler with figures of 10-41-3. The team ended their innings on 233 for six, which was not the biggest of totals, especially given the red-hot form South Africa were in.

 

Fall of wickets: 1-65 (Grant Flower, 13.4 ov), 2-131 (Murray Goodwin, 30.4 ov), 3-170 (Neil Johnson, 38.1 ov), 4-175 (Alistair Campbell, 38.4 ov), 5-186 (Andy Flower, 41.3 ov), 6-214 (Guy Whittall, 46.4 ov)

 

Johnson then took the new ball, just as he has faced the first ball for Zimbabwe and removed South African opener Gary Kirsten on the very first delivery thus setting the tone of the match. He also went on to dismiss Jaques Kallis and Hansie Cronje - the two most crucial South African wickets in the middle order.

 

Despite half-centuries from Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener towards the end, South Africa lost the match by 48 runs as Heath Streak and Andy Whittall shared five wickets between them.

 

Johnson had a memorable international career in which he played 13 Tests and 48 ODIs, claiming 50 International wickets and scoring 2,211 international runs. The win against South Africa was the high point of his career.

 

Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Gary Kirsten, 0.1 ov), 2-24 (Herschelle Gibbs, 6.4 ov), 3-25 (Mark Boucher, 7.3 ov), 4-25 (Jacques Kallis, 8.2 ov), 5-34 (Hansie Cronje, 10.1 ov), 6-40 (Jonty Rhodes, 11.4 ov), 7-106 (Daryll Cullinan, 29.2 ov), 8-149 (Shaun Pollock, 41.2 ov), 9-150 (Steve Elworthy, 42.2 ov), 10-185 (Allan Donald, 47.2 ov)

 

Teams

 

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

 

Zimbabwe - Neil Johnson, Grant Flower, Murray Goodwin, Andy Flower (wk), Alistair Campbell (c), Guy Whittall, Stuart Carlisle, Heath Streak, Andy Whittall, Adam Huckle, Henry Olonga

 

Match Details

 

Match: RSA vs ZIM, 26th Match, ICC World Cup, 1999 

Date: Saturday, May 29, 1999 

Toss: Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat 

Venue: County Ground, Chelmsford 

Umpires: David Shepherd, Srinivas Venkataraghavan 

Third Umpire: John Holder 

Match Referee: Raman Subba Row 

 

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