On this day: One of the greatest ODIs of all time

Australia rode on Ricky Ponting's 164 to post 434/4 in 50 overs; Herschelle Gibbs (175) and Graeme Smith (90) set the stage that helped the Proteas chase the target down in 49.5 overs.

Herschelle Gibbs was in full flow against the likes of Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken in Johannesburg.   -  GETTY IMAGES

On March 12, 2006, the grammar of ODI cricket was rewritten by Australia and South Africa — two of the most formidable sides in world cricket.

World champion Australia had posted a world record score of 434/4 in its first innings, only for the Proteas to chase it down with a wicket in hand and a ball to spare; all in its own backyard — in Johannesburg.

South Africa had wasted a 2-0 lead opportunity in the series. It was staring at a 3-2 defeat, when skipper Graeme Smith provided an electric start with a 55-ball 90 comprising 13 fours and two sixes.

Herschelle Gibbs smashed 21 fours and seven sixes for 175 off 111 balls that helped the host cross the line to add to the records.

 

Australia had four players calling the shots — Ricky Ponting (164 off 105 balls), Simon Katich (79 off 90), Adam Gilchrist (55 off 44) and Michael Hussey (81 off 51). All the South African bowlers went for more than seven an over; Smith had the best economy at 7.25 in four overs.

Nonetheless, after the Gibbs and Smith show, Johan van der Wath (35 off 18) and Mark Boucher (50 off 43) took South Africa home in what is regarded as one of the greatest ODI games of all time.

A young AB de Villiers was part of the historic South African side. He contributed 14 runs in the chase.

Brief scores: Australia 434/4 (A Gilchrist 55, R Ponting 164, S Katich 79, M Hussey 81; R Telemachus 2/87, M Ntini 1/80) lost to South Africa 438/9 (H Gibbs 175, G Smith 90, M Boucher 50*) by one wicket