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Cricket history: The iconic moment that kicked off South Africa's World Cup woes

From 1992 to 2015, things remained the same!
From 1992 to 2015, things remained the same!
Modified 09 May 2019, 12:08 IST

The backstory

The South African squad emerged as possibly the most exciting team in the 1992 Benson & Hedges World Cup. The nation was on a difficult path, coming out of the apartheid regime. Cricketers like Jonty Rhodes and Alan Donald had turned into instant fan favourites, with Rhodes' heroic run-out of Inzamam-ul-Haq becoming one of the greatest visuals in Cricket history.

The team went on to defeat the likes of India, Australia, and Pakistan to make their way to the semi-finals to meet England.

Also read: When an Indian batsman was denied the opportunity to break Bradman's record of 452

The incident

On March 22nd, England and South Africa met in the 2nd semi-final match of the tournament, at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Much to the annoyance of the fans, rain interrupted the game, leading to one of the most infamous moments in the history of this sport.

South Africa, originally requiring 253 off 45 overs, were cut short by the showers, which didn't last long, and the game resumed. The scorecard initially showed the chasers needing 22 off 13 deliveries, but this changed to a ridiculous 22 off 1 after Mother Nature had made its presence felt.

The improbable odds denied South Africa an opportunity to advance to the finals to meet Pakistan, which would have been a contest for the ages, given how both teams had done some amazing work throughout the tournament. The climax in the match saw Brian McMillan hit the ball gently to take a single, and walk off in disgust, amidst a sea of boos geared towards the obvious travesty.


The aftermath

The result kicked off a string of bad patches for the South African team, who lost the opportunity again in the 1999 World Cup, after possibly the greatest ODI of all time ended in a tie. The 2015 edition of the Cup saw the team fall short in an incredibly close finish in the semi-final match against New Zealand.

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Published 08 May 2019, 11:26 IST
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