Anybody remembers March 12, 2006 ??

The Cricket World Cup, cricket’s quadrennial extravaganza starts tommorrow. But today, March 12, 2007 also marks the first anniversary of the ” greatest ODI game to be played”- The SA vs Australia game at the Wanderers on March 12, 2006.

I wouldn’t delve into the game too much, but the game was a first in many ways. It will be remembered as the first game in which a side batting second chased a score of above 400 to win. The game also erased memories of the painful exit seven years ago at Edgbaston ( the 17th of June 1999) at the hands of the same team for the Proteas.

The game at Edgbaston was described by Steve Waugh as ” the best cricket match I’ve played in ” I am quite sure that Graeme Smith would have felt the same after his side chased down 434 with one ball to spare.

One man whose contribution in that game I feel has not received its due- Johan Van Der Wath- his quickfire 35 made victory possible. Nothing to take away from Gibbs, Smith and Boucher- but Van Der Wath’s innings was crucial because of the time that it came at. Boucher would also have had the 2003 D/L fiasco against Sri Lanka at the back of his mind.

A short summary of that game for you.

Australia ( 434/4)

Ponting : 164

Mike Hussey : 81

Simon Katich : 79

Adam Gilchrist : 55

lost to South Africa ( 438/9)

Herschelle Gibbs:175

Gibbs could have so easily made a double century that day. He fell in the 32nd over with the score one run below 300.

Graeme Smith:90

Mark Boucher : 50

Johan Van Der Wath : 35

South Africa have stuttered in their two World Cup warm up games- just managing to squeak past Ireland, and losing to Pakistan. Let us see how they fare in this year’s world cup. A poor start might lead to a bright end ????

South Africa will face off against Australia in Group A, for those who want to see the two teams slug it out again.


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