Richard Snell, who turns 48 today, ripped apart Australia in the World Series final in 1994.
In a tournament of low totals, South Africa’s 230-5 from their allotted overs, inspired by a Gary Kirsten century, gave them a good chance of victory against the powerful Australians.
Australia were the form side going into the three-match World Series final that saw South Africa edge out New Zealand for the second spot, so the 230 SA set made it anyone’s to play for.
A 41-run stand between David Boon and Matthew Hayden got the hosts off to a solid start in response at the MCG, until Hayden chopped one on to his stumps, handing 25-year-old Snell his first wicket.
A one-handed grab by skipper Hansie Cronje and a trademark direct hit from Jonty Rhodes saw the end of Dean Jones and Boon respectively. Just as Australia thought they were building up an encouraging partnership, a wicket would fall to keep the tourists in the hunt throughout.
Snell removed Steve Waugh for his second wicket of the evening. Then he unleashed his yorkers, and castled the great Allan Border in excellent fashion, before seeing off the tail to ensure the 28-run victory.
It put SA up 1-0, before the Aussies bounced back to win the series 2-1. It will go down as Snell’s most successful match, for it was his first, and last, five-wicket haul for his country.
Snell played five Tests and 42 ODIs for South Africa, as the country’s rich abundance of fast-bowling talents forced him out of the team altogether in 1996. He only played professionally for two more years, retiring on the right side of 30.
Photo: T Pickard/Gallo Images