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World Cup Memories: South Africa v India

Ahead of South Africa and India's ODI series, which begins in Durban on 1 February, we look back at four eventful matches between the two countries at ICC Cricket World Cups.
Shikhar Dhawan

South Africa and India – the No.1 and No.2 sides in the MRF Tyres ODI rankings respectively – have met on 77 occasions in ODI cricket, of which South Africa have won 45 and India 29.

Four of those ODIs have come at a World Cup, with the Proteas coming out on top in three of those clashes. On the eve of their latest ODI series, we take a trip down memory lane to re-live those World Cup encounters. 

15 March 1992 – Adelaide

South Africa won by 6 wickets

The 1992 World Cup was full of firsts: the first time coloured clothing was worn in the tournament, the first time white balls were used, the first time it was held in the southern hemisphere and the first time South Africa had taken part in the tournament. 

South Africa and India faced off for the first-ever time at a World Cup when they met in the round-robin stage, in their final game of the group.

1992: Peter Kirsten was Player of the Match in the sides’ first ever World Cup meeting
1992: Peter Kirsten was Player of the Match in the sides’ first ever World Cup meeting

With rain reducing the contest to 30 overs per side, India were put in to bat by South Africa skipper Kepler Wessels. Despite a bad start – losing opener Kris Srikkanth for a duck – India scored at an impressive six-an-over to finish on 180/6. Captain Mohammad Azharuddin top-scored with 79 from 77 balls and was ably supported by Kapil Dev, who struck a quick-fire 42 off just 29 balls.

For the Proteas, an opening stand of 128 between Andrew Hudson (53) and Player of the Match Peter Kirsten (84) went a long way to ensuring their victory. Despite losing Adrian Kuiper and Jonty Rhodes cheaply, South Africa got over the line with five balls to spare. 

15 May 1999 – Hove

South Africa won by 4 wickets

It was seven years before the two sides met again at the World Cup, as they both began their 1999 campaign with a clash in Hove.

Rahul Dravid would finish the tournament as leading run-scorer, and he showed his class in the first game, scoring 54. But the star of India’s batting line-up was opener Sourav Ganguly, who fell three short of a century – run out on 97 as India finished on 253/5. 

1999: Sourav Ganguly kicked off the World Cup with 97 against South Africa
1999: Sourav Ganguly kicked off the World Cup with 97 against South Africa

India would have been confident of defending their target – especially after disposing of both South Africa’s openers, Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs, for 3 and 7 respectively, leaving the Proteas 22/2.

However, Jacques Kallis was at his sublime best, hitting 96 to lead his side’s charge. Around him, valuable runs from Mark Boucher (34) and Jonty Rhodes (39*) helped South Africa reach the target with 16 balls remaining.

29 March 2011 – Nagpur

South Africa won by 3 wickets

South Africa made it a hat-trick of World Cup wins over India in a thriller in Nagpur back in 2011.

Batting first in the Group B clash, India’s top three of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir were in sensational form, scoring 253 of their side’s 296 runs.

Opening up, Sehwag (73) and Tendulkar (111) put on 142 and took the attack to South Africa, scoring at more than a run-a-ball, with Gambhir coming in at No.3 and hitting 69.

2011: Sachin Tendulkar hit a stunning century against South Africa
2011: Sachin Tendulkar hit a stunning century against South Africa

After claiming the wicket of Gambhir, Dale Steyn, the Player of the Match, helped cleaned up the rest of India’s line-up, finishing with figures of 5/50 as India were all out for 296.

In a thrilling chase, Hashim Amla (61), Jacques Kallis (69) and AB de Villiers (52) all hit half-centuries to put the Proteas in a good position. It was down to Faf du Plessis (25* off 23) and Robin Peterson (18* off 7) to get South Africa to the target with just two balls remaining.

2011: Player of the Match Dale Steyn finished with figures of 5/50
2011: Player of the Match Dale Steyn finished with figures of 5/50

22 February 2015 – Melbourne

India won by 130 runs 

Shikhar Dhawan was the star of the show in 2015 as India broke their World Cup duck against South Africa at the fourth time of asking.

The Indian opener hit 16 fours and two sixes on his way to 137 from 146 balls – celebrating with his signature arms-outstretched pose when he reached his century.

Dhawan was supported by Virat Kohli (46) and Ajinkya Rahane (79 from 60 balls), as India finished their 50 overs on 307/7.

Video
Shikhar Dhawan, 137 vs South Africa
Shikhar Dhawan, 137 vs South Africa

Despite a half-century from Faf du Plessis, India romped to a comprehensive victory, with Ravichandran Ashwin taking three wickets and Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma grabbing a brace apiece, as they claimed a 130-run victory in Melbourne – their third-biggest ODI win over South Africa.  

South Africa and India will meet again at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. Register here for priority access to the CWC19 ticket ballot, which opens on 1 May 2018.

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