New Delhi: Former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener was a revelation in the 1999 ICC ODI World Cup. The left-hander not only played some match-winning cameos for the Proteas, but also picked crucial wickets.
Even in the semi-final against Australia, Klusener looked all set to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat almost single-handedly.
Chasing 214, South Africa had lost their ninth wicket at the score of 198. Klusener smashed a six and took a single off the final two balls of the penultimate over, after which South Africa needed 9 runs to win off the final over.
Scores was tied then, and has it been the result of the match, Australia would have reached the final since they had already beaten South Africa once in the tournament.
In a nail-biting moment, Klusener smashed Damien Fleming for two consecutive boundaries. After surviving a run-out chance off the third ball, Klusener worked the ball towards mid-off, ran for a single, Allan Donald at the other end was looking at the fielder and he was run-out.
Speaking to The Hindu, Klusener recalled the incident and said, “I said to Allan, ideally I would like to hit another boundary and seal it that way. But I also said that if we could get a single somewhere we should take it as well. I could not score off the third.
“Off the fourth, it looked like a single to me, the ball went past the bowler. But Allan [watching the ball] had to turn before starting to run.”
He added, “I had the best seat in the house to judge the run. Unfortunately there was a lot of noise. And with Allan’s back turned the other side, he didn’t really hear the call. I guess we all know what happened afterwards. People might say we should have waited for the next two balls. Who’s to say the next delivery would not have been a great yorker from Fleming. That’s sports. There are no guarantees.”
Watch the nail-biting finish here: