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First 400 In ODI Cricket History

The day of 12th Mar 2006 has been recorded in the history of Cricket, as it was the day when the first 400 runs in ODI were made and chased.

Last updated: 13.03.2019
Ricky and Gibbs on 12th March 2006

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Whenever cricket fans sit to discuss their favorite One Day match more often than not the verdict would be the tied World Cup semi-final in Edgbaston between Australia and South Africa. That match had everything from Shane Warne magic to Klusener lone hand and the final run out of Allan Donald. But the ODI played between these two teams on 12th March 2006 went to a different level and considered by many as the greatest ODI ever. In the 35-year-old history of International One Day cricket, no team was able to score 400 till then and the highest was Sri Lanka's 398 against the new boys Kenya during the 1996 World Cup.


In the 'Bullring' in Johannesburg, the teams met to play the deciding match of the One Day series with the score tied on 2-2. It was a very good pitch with a small boundary at one side and with both the teams at their pick and full of attacking batsmen everybody expected a cracking match. Still, nobody could estimate the degree of the hitting and the entire cricket world was shocked when the news of Australia's 434 for 4 started to spread around. It was the first 400 plus score in the ODIs and all the Australian batsmen made their contribution. Captain Ricky Ponting scored a 105 ball 164 and was ably supported by Michael Hussey who scored 81 of 51. Earlier Australia had a good start with Gilchrist scoring 55 and Katich scoring 79. Andrew Symonds, one of the biggest hitter at that point came to bat at 374 for 3 and clobbered 27 of 13 balls. For South Africa, all the bowlers have conceded more than 7.25 runs per over.

During the break the Australians were jubilant and celebrations almost started. For South Africa no one had much to say, then suddenly Jacques Kallis made a joke that the bowlers have done well and Australians are 15 runs short. This cheered up the squad somewhat.

Captain Graeme Smith lost his opening partner early but it did not change his approach. Number three Herschelle Gibbs was also in no mood to defend. Together they added 187 runs in 21 overs and took South Africa ahead o the asking rate of 8.7. Once Smith is gone for 90, Gibbs moved to a different zone. Along with AB de Villiers, he added 94 runs in next 9 overs among which ABDV's contribution was 14. When Gibbs went after scoring 175 of 111 balls with 21 fours and 7 sixes the team total was already 299 and it required 136 runs off 18 overs.  They lost a few wickets but maintained the run rate. A gem of a cameo was played by Johan van der Wath, who added 35 runs off just 18 balls in the death overs. South Africa passed 400 comfortably and the final equation came down to 7 runs to be scored from the 50th over bowled by Brett Lee. Mark Boucher was batting with Andrew Hall and only Makhaya Ntini was in the hut. First, two balls of the 50th over fetched 5 runs as Hall hit a boundary through mid-wicket. But in the very next ball, he was gone. Ntini came to bat with trembling feat and somehow managed to push his first ball to the third man for a quick single which got a huge cheer from the crowd as the scores were tied. Boucher hit the next ball to the boundary and the history was made. Australia's record of the highest team total in ODIs was broken within four hours. Mick Lewis got the unwanted record of the most expensive bowling spell in ODIs for conceding 113 runs in his 10 overs.

It was a wonderful win which gave the series 3-2 to South Africa and some consolation from that day in 1999.

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