When it comes to World Cups, South Africa have a habit of approaching ultimate glory without ever managing to go all the way. Probably the most famous example of this is the 1999 World Cup semi-final against Australia, which was played on this day 23 years ago. South Africa were chasing a 214 target, and half a century from Jacques Kallis and a 43 shot from Jonty Rhodes helped set them up. However, they were 9 wickets down in the penultimate. Lance Klusener was on the field, keeping the Proteas in the competition, and Allan Donald was the last man out.
In the final, South Africa needed nine to win and Klusener reached the limits of the first two deliveries to level the score. So all hell broke loose.
They survived a scare on the third delivery of the plus, but still couldn’t calm their nerves.
Klusener hit the ball straight to the ground, but didn’t get much time, with a half-run and the pickup. Klusener, however, began to sprint as he hit the ball, but Donald on the other end, turned and put his bat down on the non-attacking side.
Klusener kept running, and by the time Donald realized what was happening and tried to run to the other end, the ball had hit Adam Gilchrist behind the stumps, who calmly picked it up and knocked down the bails .
On Friday, the International Cricket Council took to social media to share a video of the historic run.
“On this day in 1999, we witnessed one of the greatest finishes of all time,” ICC captioned the video.
With the game tied, Australia advanced to the final with permission to finish higher in the Super Six table and South Africa found themselves spoiling what could have been.
Australia then beat Pakistan in the final to lift the trophy.
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