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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

On This Day: Herschelle Gibbs’ dropped catch that cost South Africa the 1999 World Cup

Allegedly, Steve Waugh told Herschelle Gibbs after the blunder, "Hersh, you've just dropped the World Cup,". However, Gibbs denied that it ever happened. Waugh denied it too even though admitted that the alleged quote was quite funny.

By: Sports Desk |
June 13, 2020 12:01:20 pm
Steve Waugh reacts after Herschelle Gibbs’ dropped catch (Source: Youtube screengrab)

On June 13, 1999, former Australian skipper Steve Waugh played the perfect captain’s knock in 1999 World Cup Super Sixes match against South Africa. Waugh scored an unbeaten 120 to help his side win by five wickets in a thriller of a run chase. However, it was Herschelle Gibbs’ terrible dropped catch that gave Waugh a second life in a match that will turn out to be crucial going forward in the tournament.

Gibbs had a terrific day with the bat as he opened the innings for South Africa and scored 101 to help his side post a total of 271/7 after skipper Hansie Cronje won the toss and elected to bat. He did everything right until the 31st over.

Lance Klusener bowled a full delivery on the pads of Waugh. The Australian batsman flicked it straight to mid-wicket fielder Gibbs who was too excited to celebrate the key wicket that he made a mess of it.

Allegedly, Waugh told Gibbs after the blunder, “Hersh, you’ve just dropped the World Cup,”. However, Gibbs denied that it ever happened. Waugh denied it too even though admitted that the alleged quote was quite funny.

Had Gibbs caught hold of that, it would have been tough for Australia to get back in the game. The importance of the win was realised by Australians a few days later when the semi-final against Cronje’s side was tied. Australia advanced to the finals whereas an in-form South African side was knocked out of the World Cup.

Waugh-led Australia lifted the World Cup trophy for the second time after beating Pakistan comprehensively by eight wickets in the final at Lord’s.

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