Epic chokes, record chases and history’s greatest ODI
AUSTRALIA has only played 96 ODIs with South Africa - but in that limited time, the two nations have racked up some of the most memorable fixtures in the format's history.
If you can believe it, they've played in three tied matches, produced record-breaking chases, epic chokes and a stunning match known as 'the greatest ODI of all time'. We'll let you work out just which one that is.
Here are five of the best.
The greatest ODI ever played
For three hours, Australia felt like they were on top of the world - and not just because they were.
Ricky Ponting hit a 105-ball 164 in a blazing innings which anchored Australia's world record-breaking total of 4-434.
Australia became the first team to break the magical 400 barrier, Ponting crushed his career-best ODI score, Mike Hussey hit a blistering 51-ball 81 and Andrew Symonds faced just 13 balls but still cleared the fence and smacked three fours.
This was video game cricket.
Who knew their record would stand for just 49.5 more overs?
Regular adversary Herschelle Gibbs was again a feature, destroying Australia - and forever the reputation of fast bowler Mick Lewis - with an extraordinary 175 from 111 balls while Graeme Smith added 90 from 55 while batting as aggressively as he ever has.
When Gibbs departed with 18 overs remaining, 136 were required at 7.5 an over - a task Mark Boucher (50 from 43) saw through to the end, when he drove Brett Lee over mid-on for four… icing the miracle.
'You just dropped the World Cup', 99 World Cup
Every Australian cricket fan knows this game - and the oft-quoted, and allegedly fictitious, Stephen Rodger Waugh sledge which epitomised it.
With Australia chasing 271 for victory, things were grim with three wickets falling inside the first 12 overs and not even 50 runs on the board.
It brought Waugh to the crease and he'd put on 104 for the fourth wicket along with Ricky Ponting when the iconic moment arrived.
Australia were still 120 shy of victory - with the runs needing to come at better than six an over - when Waugh flicked one to Herschelle Gibbs, who'd notched a fine century earlier in the day, at mid-wicket.
One of the finest fielders of his generation, Gibbs accepts it into the breadbasket and, in the one movement, goes to celebrate by tossing the ball in the air and….. spills it.
"You've just dropped the World Cup, mate," Waugh is alleged to have remarked - though all present parties refuse to confirm its validity.
You know what happens next. On the back of Waugh's unbeaten 120, Australia powers home to a five-wicket victory with two balls to spare.
Never in doubt. The win pushed Australia into the semi-finals, where they would meet South Africa in an even more famous finish four days later…
The 1999 World Cup semi-final
If the original was memorable, the sequel was even more extraordinary.
Following their escape in Leeds, Australia travelled to Birmingham having won six games in a row and had renewed hope they were steeled for a second World Cup title.
But in their way stood a Proteas outfit seeking vengeance.
And, again, Australia's batting stumbled. Allan Donald ripped through the top order, and there was no Steve Waugh century to salvage things this time - instead Waugh (56) and Michael Bevan (65) cobbled together a meagre total of 213.
It didn't seem enough. Australia would need something special.
When Herschelle Gibbs smacked his first 30 at nearly run-a-ball pace, it seemed like Australia was on a hiding to nothing.
Until they called on Shane Warne, who'd endured a shocker of a tournament that fuelled talk of a seemingly fanciful retirement.
Warne's eighth ball dipped and fizzed past Gibbs' bat, clattering into his off stump and lifting the Australians up in one moment.
His next over brought the scalps of Gary Kirsten and Hanse Cronje, while a South African slump was in full effect when Warne's bunny - Daryll Cullinan - was run out shortly after.
South Africa were 4-61 and Australia's spin king had turned the semi-final on its head.
The Proteas recovered on the back of an 84-run partnership between Jacques Kallis (53) and Jonty Rhodes (43), leaving player-of-the-tournament Lance Klusener to bludgeon his way to victory with the tail.
A late flurry of wickets in the penultimate over left South Africa needing nine runs from the final six balls with one wicket in hand - and Damien Fleming at the top of his mark.
BANG. BANG. Klusener crunched Fleming's first two deliveries to the off-side boundary for four, levelling scores and all but ending Australia's hopes.
The following delivery, Klusener chopped one to Darren Lehmann at mid-on - and the Australia nearly effected a run-out with No.11 Allan Donald having backed up a touch too far in search of the winning run.
And then came the moment that will haunt South African fans forever. Klusener bunted a yorker back past the bowler and set off looking for a place in the final.
Donald did the same, then turned around, dropped his bat and scrambled for the safety of the crease - the same crease Klusener was hurtling towards.
Mark Waugh scooped the ball to Fleming, who underarmed it to Adam Gilchrist and the bails were whipped off with Donald stranded halfway down the pitch.
The match finished in a tie, with Australia progressing to the final by virtue of earlier results - and South Africa's reputation as chokers cemented.
South Africa does it AGAIN with monster chase
This wasn't quite the Miracle at the Wanderers - but it was another mind-boggling South African performance, and the second-highest chase of all time.
With the feisty duo of David Warner and Aaron Finch at the crease, Australia was off to a flyer and raced along at close to 10 an over until Finch was removed for 53 from 34 balls with four sixes.
Warner (117) and Steve Smith (108) then combined to drive Australia's scored towards stratospheric regions, before late hitting pushed them out to an imposing 6-371.
In response, Quinton de Kock (70 off 49) unleashed with a flurry of brutal strokes, while Hashim Amla (45 from 30) and Faf du Plessis (33) kept things ticking along.
But wickets continued to fall, and when Adam Zampa trapped Rilee Rousouw South Africa were still 193 runs from victory with 26 overs remaining.
Enter David Miller and his fearsome blade.
Wielding his bat like Lance Klusener in his prime, Miller crunched six sixes and ten fours in his sizzling 79-ball 118 as South Africa knocked off the target with four balls remaining and four wickets in hand.
"You don't lose too many with that on the board," admitted Smith.
Australia's Bloemfontain escape, 1994
At the end of an almighty tour - this was the eighth and final ODI sandwiched around a Test series - this one came down to the very last ball.
After a shaky start, David Boon (45) and Steve Waugh (42) rebuilt with a 71-run fourth wicket partnership before a quickfire 41 from Ian Healy dragged Australia to a respectable (in 1994 terms, at least) total of 203.
South Africa were in cruise control, anchored by opener Andrew Hudson's 84, and needed just 46 runs from the final 54 deliveries with six wickets in hands.
But - in one of their earlier chokes in this format - South Africa fell just short. With just six runs to defend, Damien Fleming - in his first match of the series - was thrown the ball for the final over.
And he got the job done, with now ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson run out by Mark Taylor off the last ball to secure a remarkable one-run victory for Australia and level the eight-match series at four wins apiece.