Australia: From siege to surrender

Given how momentous the 1999 World Cup semifinal between Australia and South Africa was, its far-reaching consequences were, perhaps, not so surprising. Experienced live - even through television - you knew that a superb match was unfolding, that history was in the making.

updated: June 19, 2013 13:05 IST
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When a historian writes about Australian cricket at the turn and start of the 21st century, June 17 is likely to play an important part in the telling of the story. Fourteen years ago, on June 17, Australia and South Africa played what, for my money, is the greatest One-Day International seen - the semifinal of the 1999 World Cup.

In 1999, Australia were the No.1 Test team in the world, but hadn't been quite so dominant in ODIs. The semifinal in Edgbaston was the spark that lit Australia's subsequent decade of supremacy in both forms of the game.

Before that match, Australia were a good side in ODIs, consistently counted as among the favourites in most tournaments, but they hadn't won a World Cup in the decade and hadn't won the inaugural Champions Trophy in 1998. They had reached the final of the 1996 World Cup, but in 1999, they barely scraped into the Super Sixes, and needed Steve Waugh at his ODI finest - aided by Herschelle Gibbs and the famous drop - to enter the semifinals.

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