Revisiting the perfect one-day match |

Revisiting the perfect one-day match

12 March 2018
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A world record tally, another world record tally ... and carnage in between

About the Writer:

Dave Middleton is's senior news editor. From Queensland, he spent 10 years in the UK where he wrote for The Times, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and The Telegraph.

It had never been done before; no team had scored more than 400 in a one-day international.

Yet on March 12, 2006, in 50 scintillating overs at Johannesburg's Wanderers stadium, a Ricky Ponting-inspired Australia smashed their way to 4-434.

It was a record that lasted just 49.5 overs.

World Record
Australia lit up the Wanderers for a (brief) world record // Getty

In a barely believable match, South Africa and Australia added another chapter to a history of memorable and remarkable games between the two nations as the hosts reached 438 to win the match with one wicket and one ball to spare.

In the rare air of the Highveld, where the ball sails further in a small ground, Adam Gilchrist set the tone by opening his shoulders and swinging hard early, blasting 55 from 44 balls.

His dismissal brought skipper Ponting to the crease.

In one of the greatest displays of power and precision hitting over an extended period, Ponting blasted 164 from just 105 balls. Nine times he cleared the rope and 13 times the ball bounced over it.

Ricky Ponting
Ponting salutes for his century // Getty

It was at the same venue just three years earlier where he'd hammered eight maximums in an unbeaten 140 from 121 balls against India, one of the greatest ever knocks in a World Cup final.

Simon Katich anchored the innings with a comparatively pedestrian-looking 79 from 90 balls as Mike Hussey added 81 from 51 and Andrew Symonds and Brett Lee pushed the total to a seemingly invincible 434.

Perhaps sick of the burden carried by the memory of their famous capitulation in the 1999 World Cup, South Africa came out firing.

Graeme Smith blasted 90 from 55 balls but the star was Herschelle Gibbs, who outdid Ponting with an amazing 175 from 111 balls.

Herschelle Gibbs
Proteas opener Gibbs smashed a career-high // Getty

South Africa lost wickets along the way – Nathan Bracken finished with 5-67 from his 10 overs – but Mark Boucher provided a middle-order rock to anchor the innings amid the crazed torrent of wickets, runs and a baying 32,000-strong crowd.

Victorian Mick Lewis copped the brunt of the onslaught, conceding a record 113 from his 10 overs. He never played for Australia again.

When the ninth wicket fell in the final over, with three balls to spare, memories of the Klusener-Donald run-out at Edgbaston in the 1999 World Cup semi-final came flooding back.

Makhaya Ntini
Ntini celebrates the famous victory // Getty

No.11 Makhaya Ntini squeezed a single from his first ball to tie the scores, and Boucher did the rest.

He lofted Brett Lee over mid-on and down to the boundary to win the match and the series, a result that - all these years later - still seems scarcely believable.

Ricky Ponting
Ponting and the Aussies were left stunned // Getty

Qantas tour of South Africa

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights

First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard

Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13. Live coverage

Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26. Live coverage

Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage