South African Cricketers in Miracle Win


South African cricket fans stampeded to the newsstands this morning, seeking assurance that it wasn’t all just a dream. Yesterday they had witnessed what has been christened in most parts of the cricketing world as the “greatest one-day match in history” – in which the Proteas chased down, and surpassed, an unprecedented 434/4 by a rampaging Australian top order, at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

Aussie captain Ricky Ponting had seemed to seal a crushing series win for his side when he struck 164 off 105 balls in a shattering display of dominance. But man-of-the-match Herschelle Gibbs outdid him with an unthinkable 175 off 111, and South Africa gaspingly crossed the 434 mark with one ball – and one wicket – to spare. The number of records that fell included the highest one-day innings total (twice!), and most aggregate runs – almost 900.

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As a special treat, SA Blog brings you the complete text of The Australian‘s front-page coverage of the match – written before the South Africans’ innings had started. The poor Aussies began gloating slightly too early, and were left so shell-shocked by South Africa’s comeback that they didn’t bother to change the story – which had morphed sickeningly into mere wishful thinking – for at least 12 hours after the event.

  • Early, unwarranted gloating (pdf): The Australian
  • International coverage of said early, unwarranted gloating: Gulf Times.