The 1999 Cricket World Cup Semi-Final between Australia and South Africa at Edgbaston will always be remembered as one of the greatest matches in the history of the tournament. The game was filled with twists and turns and culminated in a dramatic tie, with Australia qualifying for the final based on a superior net run rate.
South Africa won the toss and elected to field first. Australia, led by Steve Waugh, started poorly and were reduced to 68/4 at one stage. However, Waugh, along with Michael Bevan, put on a crucial partnership of 90 runs to take Australia to a respectable total of 213/8 in their allotted 50 overs.
In reply, South Africa started steadily and looked to be in control of the game. But, they lost wickets at regular intervals and found themselves struggling at 168/6 in the 43rd over. However, Lance Klusener played a stunning innings, smashing 31 runs off just 16 balls to take South Africa to the brink of victory.
With just nine runs required off the final over, Klusener hit two boundaries off Damien Fleming to tie the match. But, with just one ball remaining and scores tied, Allan Donald set off for a single, only to be caught out of his crease by a brilliant throw from Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist.
The tie meant that Australia qualified for the final on a better net run rate, while South Africa was left to rue a missed opportunity. The game was a classic example of the unpredictable nature of cricket, where fortunes can change within a matter of seconds.
The 1999 World Cup Semi-Final will always be remembered for its high drama and nail-biting finish. It showcased the best of cricket, with both teams giving it their all and fighting till the end. The game was a testament to the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play, with both teams showing great respect for each other, despite the intense competition. It will forever be etched in the memories of cricket fans around the world as one of the greatest matches ever played.