5 thrilling last over finishes in ICC Tournaments
ICC Tournaments have always been a spectacle for the players and crowds. Teams start to plan well in advance to get their combinations right, and the spectators plan well in advance to get their match tickets and hotel rooms.
With the advent of T20 cricket, the frequency of ICC Tournaments have increased as well and almost all the cricketing nations have got to witness the fervour and intensity.
The quality of cricket played in these tournaments make them top billing as well. Old records are broken and new records are created with utmost ease. There are a lot of nervy moments that occur in a multi-nation tournament. The crowds get behind their favourite teams which makes it look all the more dramatic.
There are a few matches which are hard to forget. These matches kept swinging like a pendulum and the team which eventually held its nerve won the encounter.
Let us look into 5 such encounters which were either a semi-final or a final.
#1. 1999 Cricket World Cup Semi Final - Australia v South Africa
South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl on a gloomy morning in Birmingham. It was understood that they wanted to restrict Australia by negating the threat posed by Steve Waugh, who in the previous encounter between the two sides, had scored a match-winning 120.
Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald bowled disciplined lines and had Australia on the mat at 68 for 4. Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan resurrected the innings with crucial half centuries. Australia could manage only 213, which looked competitive, but definitely not sufficient.
South Africa got off to a good start. The scorecard read 48 runs in 12 overs. Shane Warne's introduction dramatically changed the proceedings and South Africa lost 4 wickets in quick succession. Kallis and Rhodes built a decent partnership and South Africa found themselves within touching distance. They required 70 in the last 10 overs with 6 wickets in hand.
Once Rhodes and Kallis got dismissed, the onus fell on the in-form Lance Klusener who had saved South Africa on a few occasions in the World Cup.
Last Over Tragedy
9 runs were needed off the last over and Klusener was batting on 23 from 12 deliveries. Damien Fleming started the over and the first 2 deliveries were powerfully driven through the covers and the long off region which fetched South Africa 8 runs.
It was just a formality for South Africa to win the game. Lance Klusener hit the ball straight to the mid-off fielder and started running. Allan Donald did not respond to his call which led to a mix-up and eventually a comical run-out.
Even though the match ended in a tie, Australia advanced to the finals due to their win over South Africa in the Super Six and thrashed Pakistan in the finals to win the 1999 Cricket World Cup.
Choking became a habit for South Africa, who till date have not won a World cup semi-final.