On March 12, 2006, South Africa stunned the sporting world when they chased down a world record target against Australia in an ODI at Johannesburg.
The then world champions had posted the first-ever score above 400 in the 50-over format with Ricky Ponting scoring 164. It should have been a comfortable victory, but little did anyone anticipate what was to come next. South Africa led by Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs defied belief and Australia.
The fifth ODI was to be held at Johannesburg on March 12. Australia captain Ponting won the crucial toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat first. To add to the drama it was the deciding one-dayer in a five-match series.
Australia opened with Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich. Gilchrist got to his 44th ODI half-century in on 35 deliveries. The opening partnership was worth 97. Ponting, the Australian captain, reached his ton off 73 balls. In all he faced 105 deliveries, hit 13 fours and nine sixes.
Ponting and Michael Hussey then shared 158 for the third wicket. The 300 was up by the 40th over and a late 27 (13) cameo from Andrew Symonds helped the Aussies reach the then highest ever ODI score of 434/4.
Smith and Dippenaar opened the batting for South Africa. South Africa fell to 3 for 1. But Graeme Smith and Gibbs kept them in it with a stand of 187 off 128 balls, their country's third highest partnership against Australia and it came at a run-rate of 8.97. Gibbs reached his 16th ODI century With a four through cover. The milestone came off only 79 deliveries. Gibbs had been dismissed for 175 off 111 deliveries in the 32nd over with South Africa’s score at 299. He had struck 21 fours and seven sixes in his brilliant innings.
South Africa were at 355 for 6 in 42.1 overs. They needed another 80 runs off 47 deliveries. Australia surged back to reduce South Africa to 433 for 9 with three balls left. Makhaya Ntini nudged Lee for a single, and Boucher hit the next ball to long-on for four to win the match. Ponting and Gibbs were both awarded man of the match but the Australian – probably in a state of disbelief himself – declined it, saying Gibbs deserved the honour. “Cricket is getting bizarre these days,” said Gibbs.
Highest Targets chased in ODIs
* 435 South Africa v Australia (Johannesburg, 2006)
* 372 South Africa v Australia (Durban, 2016)
* 361 England v WestIndies (Bridgetown, 2019)
* 360 India v Australia (Jaipur, 2013)
* 359 Australia v India (Mohali, 2013)
* 359 England v Pakistan (Bristol, 2016)
Teams chasing 300+ with 1 wicket to spare
+ SA vs AUS, 2006 Johannesburg
+ NZ vs AUS, 2007 Hamilton
+ ZIM vs NZ, 2011 Bulawayo
+ SL vs ENG, 1999 Adelaide
+ ENG vs WI, 2007 Bridgetown
+ AUS vs ENG, 2014 Brisbane
Highest Partnership against Australia in successful chases:
221 – J Root / J Roy, Melbourne 2018
206 – Ab de Villiers / Faf du Plessis, Harare 2014
202 – I Gower / G Gooch, Lord’s 1985
198* – K Akmal / Misbah ul Haq, Abu Dhabi 2009
187 – H Gibbs / G Smith, Johannesburg 2006
186* – V Kohli / R Sharma, Jaipur 2013
Highest match aggregates in ODIs
872 SA (438) v AUS (434), Johannesburg 2006
825 IND (414) v SL (411), Rajkot 2009
805 WI (389) v ENG (418), Grenada 2019
763 ENG (365) v NZ (389), The Oval 2015
747 IND (381) v ENG (366), Cuttack, 2017
Highest RR in a completed innings
9.62 Eng v Aus, Trent Bridge 2018
8.88 Eng v Pak, Trent Bridge 2016
8.86 SL v NED, VAR Ground 2006
8.78 SA v WI, Johannesburg 2015
8.76 SA v IND, Mumbai 2015
8.68 AUS v SA, Johannesburg 2006*