The Proteas and England have curiously only completed a single ODI against each another at Kingsmead in Durban – a match that is memorable for a devastating spell of bowling by Allan Donald.
The 1996 meeting between the touring England team and South Africa was the first encounter between the countries in ODI cricket at the venue and to date is the only one to end in a result.
In 2005, the sixth ODI of a series between the Proteas and England was rained off after several interruptions, but not before Herschelle Gibbs had struck a ton.
Rain haunted the fixture again in 2009, when the match was abandoned without a ball bowled.
The ground has gained a reputation as a rain magnet, with the Dolphins and the Durban Heat plagued by bad luck when it comes to weather in a city renowned for its great weather.
In 1996, though, the Proteas bowlers, led by Donald, ensured that rain wouldn’t be able to save the tourists.
Heading into the match, the Proteas sported a 3-1 series lead against a touring side that was far from being an ODI powerhouse.
Hansie Cronje won the toss and opted to put the tourists’ top-order to the test.
The Proteas boasted a new-ball pairing renowned for their unerring line and length, but Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart survived the probing that Shaun Pollock and Craig Matthews subjected them to and put together a half-century partnership.
Cronje then turned to Fanie de Villiers and the express pace of Donald.
When Donald found the edge of Atherton’s bat to undo the man whom he had a running battle with throughout the 1995-96 tour and beyond, it exposed the tourists. Donald cleaned up Stewart not long afterwards and then undid England’s best ODI batsmen at the time, Robin Smith and Graeme Hick.
Graham Thorpe played a trademark gutsy knock of 63 to help England towards a respectable total, but they would manage just 184 all out.
England strike bowler Dominic Cork removed both of the Proteas openers cheaply, but a 118-run stand between Cronje and Jacques Kallis settled the hosts’ nerves. The Proteas went on to clinch a five-wicket win that secured an unassailable 4-1 lead in the seven-match series.
Donald won the man of the match award for his first spell where he proved nearly unplayable and tore through the English top order.
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