St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - First Yellow Pages One Day International - SA vs Aus - 1986/87
First Yellow Pages One Day International - SA vs Aus - 1986/87

Played at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, February 7, 1987

THIS was the best of the one-day internationals South Africa have played in since the start of the rebel tours. It was the tensest, tightest, and most entertaining, and with twists and turns that kept every one of the 17 000 spectators seated until the end.

It took the most dramatic collapse yet seen in one-day cricket in this country for the Springboks to win as the Australians collapsed from 298/2 to 310 in all out in just over three overs.

From the first ball, hooked to the boundary by Jimmy Cook, it was clear the bowlers were to have a hard day. Cook and Roy Pienaar, returning to the Springbok side after an excellent run in domestic competitions, proceeded to take the Australian attack apart in an exhilarating opening stand of 151 in 99 minutes. Thereafter statistics began to look meaningless. Cook's 70 came off 59 balls with eight fours; Pienaar's 74 off 85 balls with three sixes and six fours; Peter Kirsten's classic, compact 87 off 79 balls with 12 fours; Graeme Pollock's savage 43 off 46 balls with a six and four fours. In the end 316 had been scored off 50 overs, with the scoring rate never dropping below five.

The Australian reply was steady, but initially not fast enough. Steve Smith was run out early on, and John Dyson and Kepler Wessels then laid the foundation for the final run chase with a stand of 106 in 23 overs. Dyson's dismissal was the signal for the most dramatic run-chase yet seen in local one-day cricket. Hughes, improvising brilliantly, and Wessels, showing that he can be among the best one-day cricketers, unfolded a breathtaking array of shots that saw the score rocket from 139/2 to 298 in just 17 overs. Two more overs and they would have won.

But the Springboks had Garth Ie Roux and Clive Rice to bowl the last four overs. Accordingly, Kenny McEwan brilliantly caught Wessels centimetres inside the boundary rope off the second last ball of the 47th over. His 122 off 112 balls had contained a six and 12 fours. The innings of a lifetime.

Hughes went two balls later, totally castled with the first ball of the 48th over, having made an unforgettable 83 off 57 balls with two sixes and seven fours.

Still, the Australians needed just 19 runs off 17 balls, and had they kept their wits it would have been a canter. But the adrenalin was pumping too fast, and Rice picked up four more wickets in his next 11 balls. Le Roux picked up one, and the run out of Mike Haysman, which finally ended their realistic chances of winning completed the total of eight wickets in 19 balls.

But up to the second last ball of the match the Australians had a chance. Seven balls required, but the best Rodney Hogg could do was step inside a Rice yorker and lose his leg stump.

Hughes and Wessels were jointly named Man of the Match.

South Africa
SJ Cook
RF Pienaar
PN Kirsten
RG Pollock
KS McEwan
CEB Rice
GS le Roux
DJ Richardson
BM McMillan, HA Page and AA Donald did not bat
run out
c and b Hohns
c Wessels b Hogg
c Smith b Maguire
c Hughes b McCurdy
not out
c Dyson b McCurdy
not out
Extras (1B, 16LB, 1W)
Total (for six wickets) : 316
Fall of Wickets: 1/151 2/154 3/259 4/304 5/311 6/313

Bowling: Hogg 9-0-46-1, McCurdy 8-2-52-2, Maguire 10-0-57-1, Faulkner 9-1-52-0, Hohns 9-0-62-1, Wessels 5-0-30-0

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