We are constantly reminded about that game at the 1999 World Cup, so much so that we often forget some of the incredible ODIs the Proteas have won against Australia.
- World Cup, Sydney Cricket Ground, 26 February 1992
South Africa’s very first Cricket World Cup match took place against Australia and was memorable despite being a low-scoring contest.
Allan Donald should have had the wicket of Geoff Marsh off the first ball of the match, but the umpire was unmoved. Australia got off to a good start before David Boon was run out trying to steal a quick single. Adrian Kuiper got Marsh with his first ball of the match, getting a touch of away swing to induce a big edge through to the keeper. Kuiper struck again the next ball bowling Allan Border with a terrific in-swinger.
Australia would score just 170-9, and Kepler Wessels managed the chase with aplomb hitting an unbeaten 81 to guide South Africa to a nine-wicket victory. Donald’s searing pace and aggression is the enduring memory from South Africa’s first World Cup match.
- Fifth ODI, Wanderers, 12 March 2006
This match has come to be known of the ‘438 game’ and will live forever as one of the sport’s most exceptional comeback stories.
Spare a thought for Mick Lewis who went for 113 runs in the ten overs he bowled in what would be his last international match.
The 438 game is often described as the greatest ODI ever played, and it remains the only instance of any team chasing down more than 400 runs to win an ODI.
- Third ODI, Kingsmead, 5 October 2016
Another entry on this list is the incredible third ODI of the 2016 series between the Proteas and Australia.
The match proved to arguably be the finest moment of David Miller’s career to date and a launching pad for Andile Phehlukwayo. Miller smashed 118 off 79 balls to help South Africa chase down a target of 372.
Earlier in this game, David Warner and Steve Smith had scored centuries, but because of the history of this fixture, their score didn’t feel safe.
- Third ODI, Bellerive Oval, 11 November 2018
A series decider in Hobart this match is another that features a Miller ton alongside a big hundred from Faf du Plessis.
Du Plessis’ hundred came in an innings that started under pressure and gave the Proteas enough to allow their seamers to win the match.
The result in this series had many convinced the Proteas could be a force at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, but of course, things didn’t work out that way.
- World Series Cup, Melbourne Cricket Ground, 9 December 1993
The MCG was in a shocking state for the first game of the 1993-94 World Series Cup. Sand covered much of the outfield.
Australia felt putting runs on the board would give them the advantage, but conditions proved tough for the batsmen. They started well enough but after going to 105 without loss, Michael Slater fell, and the Australian effort collapsed spectacularly.
This match was another low-scoring classic between two teams possessed of abundant grit.
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