South Africa and Australia clashes are possibly the most awaited ones in One Day International Cricket. The stakes have been raised multiple times since the monumental record-breaking ODI in Johannesburg in 2006.
Two teams that play totally different kind of cricket- the on your face, aggressive Australia compared to a passive, consistent South Africa- have managed to keep the fans on the edge of their seats in most contests.
One Day International matches between these sides are something everyone awaits to watch because of the sheer amount of close contests they have competed in. Just like India-Pakistan matches, South Africa-Australia matches generate huge waves among the audiences.
A list of unforgettable ODIs is incomplete without contests between these teams- 1999 World Cup Semi-Final and 2006 Johannesburg ODI stand out in this regard. Let us walk through a list of the highest individual performances, with the bat, from either side, in matches between the two.
#1 Steve Waugh - 120* (1999 World Cup, Headingley)
Having lost to New Zealand and Pakistan in the super six of the 1999 World Cup, Australia needed a phenomenal performance against an in-form South African side. Steve Waugh, an amateur captain at the time, with heavy criticism levied at him, chose the right time to stamp his mark in the World Cup.
Gibbs powered South Africa to 271 with a blistering hundred. But unfortunately for him, he was not to be remembered for his hundred in the game. After crumbling to 48/3 in the chase, Gibbs welcomed Waugh with the famous comment, "Let's see how he takes the pressure now."
Urging Ponting to attack, Waugh himself reached his 50 off 47 balls, before he flicked Klusener straight to Gibbs at mid-wicket. Gibbs took the offering but was too eager to celebrate and dropped the ball. Waugh, at the time, was rumoured to have commented to Gibbs, "I hope you realise that you've just lost the game for your team".
Waugh finished unbeaten on 120 and sealed the chase without breaking a sweat. Interestingly, this victory would go on to define the result of the famous semi-final between the two sides.