Cricket History

Close Odi Victories Australia v South Africa at Bloemfontein April 1994

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South Africa and Australia had a fierce sports rivalry that extended to cricket. There were some epic contests between these two nations in the sport of cricket. Springbok Park, South Africa was the venue for one of the thrillers between the Aussies and the "Proteas." The Australians had a strong line-up that included Shane Warne, Mark Taylor, David Boon, Steve Waugh, Allan Border and Glenn McGrath. The South Africans, in their post-apartheid era, had former Aussie player Kepler Wessels, Hansie Cronje and Jonty Rhodes.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat first, needing to win the match after going down 4-3 in the eight-match series. However, South Africa took the early initiative as Craig Matthews dismissed Mark Taylor for one run. Mark Waugh, batting at number three, scored only 13 runs before falling to Eric Simons. The usually aggressive Michael Slater compiled 34 runs off 76 balls before becoming the third wicket' Australia was 69/3.

David Boon and Steve Waugh prevented a collapse with a vital 71-run stand for the fourth wicket. However, Boon (45) and Waugh (43) fell within three runs of each other to leave the visitors at 143/5. Aussie captain Allan Border (11) was the next to go, leaving the Aussies at 184/6. Wicketkeeper Ian Healy displayed rare batting prowess in plundering 41 runs from only 30 balls, with three fours. That late surge pushed the visitors over the 200-mark. The Aussies closed on 203/6 off their 50 overs. Bowling for the hosts, Craig Matthews took 3/40 off ten overs. Tim Shaw was the most economical with 1/30 off ten overs.

Former Aussie batsman Kepler Wessels and Andrew Hudson gave the Proteas a fine start with an 82-run first-wicket partnership. Steve Waugh's part-time medium pace separated the pair; he had Wessels bowled for 28 runs. The Proteas' steady start continued as they reached 158/3. With just 46 runs to win, the hosts seemed to be well on top and in a position to win the match and the series. However, the South Africans suffered a mid-innings collapse to reach 164/6. The match came down to the final over and the final ball.

South Africa had two wickets remaining and needed a few runs off the final ball to win. However, Dave Richardson was run out off the final ball to leave the home side agonisingly short at 202/8. Bowling for Australia, Steve Waugh and Paul Reiffel took two wickets each. Australia drew the 8-match series 4-4, but South African Andrew Hudson took the player of the match award.

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