Cricket World Cup’s Greatest Moments – The Wizard Of Oz Conjures Up A Magic Spell




Shane Warne

Shane Warne

This is the stuff folklore is written off. The 1999 World Cup semifinal between Australia and South Africa at Edgbaston had all the ingredients of a classic right from the start when South Africa won the toss and put the Aussies into bat.  The match had more twists and turns than an F1 track and it did go down to the wire and ultimately ended in a tie and Australia sneaked through to the finals.

After Pollock got rid of dangerman Mark Waugh in the first over, Ponting and Gilchrist took the score to 53/1, Donald struck a triple blow and reduced them to 68/4. It was left to Steve Waugh and Bevan to do the repair work as they put on an 88 run partnership before Pollock struck twice and reduced 156/4 to 158/6. After they limped to 207/6, there was yet another collapse as Donald ran through the tail and the Aussies were bowled out for a lowly 213.

In their reply, South Africa raced away to 43/0 in 10 overs before a certain Shane Keith Warne was introduced into the attack. It took only 8 deliveries for the master to spin his web. His ball to Gibbs drifted down the legside, pitched and then spun a mile as it clipped the top of off stump. Gibbs was dumbfounded but this was only the beginning!

Bowling from over the wicket to Kirsten, he pitched on the rough outside the off stump and spun sharply and Kirsten was bowled. Three deliveries later, Cronje edged another ball that turned sharply to first slip. Replays suggested that there was no edge but Warne now had 3 wickets in 8 balls. Warne continued to mesmerize and conceded only 12 runs from his 8 overs.

He was brought back into the attack in the 43rd over when South Africa seemed to be cruising towards victory. After a quiet 9th over, Pollock slammed a six and a four and with the score reading 175/5, it was South Africa’s match to lose. But Warne was not done yet. He tossed his last delivery up and Kallis sliced it to the hands of cover. Warne had struck yet again and Australia were back in the game.

What followed was a dramatic South African collapse and Klusener’s heroics were only good enough to tie the game thereby sending Australia to the finals, where Warne would go on to pick 4 more wickets and collect yet another Man of the Match award.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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