June 13, 2020 12:01:20 pm
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.
‘How does it feel to drop the World Cup, Herschell’ – Steve Waugh to Gibbs#OnThisDay in 1999 at Headingley.
Steve Waugh later disowns the comment & said the line was something closer to “That’s going to cost your team today, Hersch”
Waugh smashed 120*pic.twitter.com/PC6hDz9fGF
— Cricketopia (@CricketopiaCom) June 13, 2020
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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