Zimbabwe dramatic win over South Africa

Published: Saturday, May 29, 1999, 5:30 [IST]
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Zimbabwe achieved a dream of a victory today in the World Cup 1999. South Africa, the hot favourite to win this Cup never looked likely to be beaten in the first league phase of the championship. Such was their class and sense of commitment.

But today, they met a giant-killer in Zimbabwe , who won this group "A"match for a palce in the Super Six..Zimbabwe, who had consumed India last week to earn a refreshing status in this pool, owe a great deal today to their superb all-round player Neil Johnson.

This gifted cricketer opened the Zimbabwe innings and came up with an inspiring display ( 76 off 117 balls). No doubt, Zimbabwe's total of 233 for six would not have posed any serious threat to the all-conquering South Africa and their ardent followers. But then Johnson had other ideas.Like most great all-rounders of this sport, Johnson showed that he could play the "lead,kindly light " role to near perfection.

Opening the attack , Johnson removed South Africa's opener Gary Kristen off the very first ball. His bowling partner Heath Streak responded magnificently and soon the South African top order was back in the pavilion ( 40 for six) , an incredible situation indeed..Of those six wickets Johnson accounted for three and Streak two . The other was a run out.

Then came a grand recovery act led by Shaun Pollack (52 off 81 balls) and Darryl Cullinan (29) who took the score to 108 before the Zimbabweans struck again through some intelligent bowling backed by excellent fielding. And South Africa was reduced to 150 for nine. Thereafter, South Africa's magnificent all-rounder Lance Klusener weant on a rampage making a brisk 50 but then Heath Streak had the last laugh coming up with a superb catch at mid-off to dismiss Alan Donold off Olanga.


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