- The 438 game has been voted as the best One-Day International in the history of cricket
- The 5th and final ODI between South Africa and Australia at the Wanderers in Johannesburg was played on 12 years ago on 12 March 2006
- The epic encounter will be remembered for the sheer grit and determination shown by the Proteas players
The famous and epic ‘438 Game’ will be remembered as one of the greatest cricket games of all time and has officially been voted by fans of the game as the best One-Day International (ODI) in the history of the format.
The fifth and final ODI in a pulsating South Africa vs Australia series took place 12 years ago! The match was played on 12 March 2006 at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The epic encounter will be remembered for the drama, determination and grit shown by the Proteas side.
By the time the match ended a host of ODI cricket records had not merely been broken but absolutely blown into the history books. Both teams achieved stats which cricket experts believed to be impossible.
Briefly.co.za gathered that in the days before T20 cricket had elevated batting to levels never seen before it was unthinkable that any international team would score 400 runs or more against strong opposition.
The match was the unofficial final of a pulsating series which was tied at two games all. Australia won the toss and captain Ricky Ponting had no hesitation in batting first.
The Aussies got off to a dream start in their quest to win the match by blowing the Proteas bowlers into the weeds ending with a mammoth, and record-breaking at the time, score of 434/4 from 50 overs.
Ricky Ponting was at his magnificent and destructive best, he played a true captain’s innings ending with a score of 164 runs from 104 balls. Ponting smashed 13 fours and 9 sixes in his batting masterclass.
The crowd, both at the stadium and those watching on TV, were stunned. Commentators were lost for words with one famously saying viewers had witnessed something they would not see for a long long time.
As it turned out a long long time was less than 50 overs away.
Sport24.com reported that South Africa’s reply to the mammoth run chase was nothing less than heroic. Legend has it that Jacques Kallis told his teammates in the changing room that he thought the Aussies had were about 15 runs short of a par score.
Herschell Gibbs was the hero for South Africa with probably the best batting performance of his illustrious career. Gibbs dismantled the Australian bowlers in a savage display which included 21 fours and 7 sixes in his 175 run innings.
South Africa had a mid-innings wobble which nearly cost the side the win but ended up just adding to the drama as the match went into the final overs with Mark Boucher and Makaya Ntini combining to drag the Proteas over the line.
Many of the records of that day have since been broken but no match has come even close to taking the mantle away from that day in Johannesburg.
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