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Cricket World Cup moments: Semi-final madness with Australia v South Africa

There have been plenty of dramatic finishes to World Cup matches and the semi-final between Australia and South Africa in 1999 will forever be remembered for its thrilling end.

These two nations have always had a fierce rivalry and the encounter at Edgbaston in the last-four stage of World Cup 1999 was the latest in a long line of dramatic events to have been played out between the pair.

Super Six encounter proves crucial

With South Africa topping Group A and Australia finishing second in Group B, both teams had successfully booked their place in the Super Six stage where the top four would advance to the semi-finals.

The final Super Six clash pitted the Aussies against the Proteas and the latter managed to make 271/7 from their 50 overs, a brilliant century from Herschelle Gibbs helping to boost the total.

However, Australia had their own centurion to call upon with Steve Waugh's unbeaten 121 guiding his side to a five-wicket victory with just two balls of the innings remaining.

Victory for the Baggy Greens ensured they finished second, level on points with third-place South Africa but, crucially, ahead of them in the standings on net-run-rate.

It meant that, under the rules for this competition, if there was a tie between the pair in their semi-final clash then it would be the Aussies that would proceed to the final.

At the time, nobody knew just how crucial that Super Six triumph would become.

Pollock and Donald tear through Aussies

After failing to take a wicket and conceding a combined 88 runs in the Super Six defeat, Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald had a point to prove in the semi-final and the duo produced a sensational bowling performance.

Using the white 'Duke', the new ball that was introduced for the first time in the 1999 World Cup, Pollock (5-36) and Donald (4-32) accounted for nine of the 10 wickets as Australia were bowled out for 213.

Steve Waugh (56) and Michael Bevan (65) made what would turn out to be crucial half-centuries for the Baggy Greens, who may have thought at the time that total was not enough.

Proteas on the brink

After making a solid start to their reply, South Africa collapsed to 61-4 before Jonty Rhodes (43) and Jacques Kallis (53) then put together a vital partnership to leave the scores at 175-6 with 5.1 overs remaining.

Pollock managed to contribute 20 runs to the total before Mark Boucher and Steve Elworthy followed him back to the pavilion, with the Proteas 198-8 with eight balls left.

Lance Klusener was still at the crease for South Africa and it looked like he would be the man to guide his side to victory, as he entered the final over unbeaten on 23 with nine runs required for victory.

Lance Klusener

Running calamity sends Aussies through

Damien Fleming was given the bowling responsibilities for Australia in the final over but it looked like it would end in heartbreak for him after Klusener smashed a four on the first and second balls.

With the scores level, Australia skipper Waugh brought the field up inside the circle in an attempt to score a single being taken and there was nearly a run-out on the third ball.

Klusener mis-hit his shot to Darren Lehmann, who was standing at mid-on, and with Allan Donald backing up a long way at the non-striker's end, a direct hit from the field would have resulted in a run-out.

However, South Africa failed to take the most of that reprieve as the very next ball there was a calamitous run-out that would send Australia into the final.

Klusener failed to time his shot, hitting it to Mark Waugh at mid-off, but the batter this time went for the run and as he sprinted down the pitch, Donald at the other end was ball-watching and didn't hear the call.

Waugh proceeded to throw the ball to Fleming, who then rolled it along the pitch to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist who then whipped off the bails to run Donald out.

It meant both teams ended the match being bowled out for 213, but it was Australia who advanced to the final because of what happened during the Super Six stage.

The Baggy Greens would go on to beat Pakistan in the final before also lifting the trophy in 2003, 2007 and 2015, taking their number of titles to five, while South Africa are yet to taste World Cup success.

Cricket World Cup

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