Wills World Cup, Group B


Toss: United Arab Emirates. International debuts: S. Dukanwala, Mohammad Aslam, G. Mylvaganam, Shahzad Altaf.

The first day was washed out and, as the covers had been on for four days out of six, the pitch was expected to offer something to bowlers. Unfortunately for Sultan Zarawani, his bowlers could not find it. The South Africans piled up 321 for two, their biggest total in limited-overs internationals, and Kirsten smashed 188 not out, the highest score in World Cup history, passing Viv Richards's 181 against Sri Lanka at Karachi in 1987-88. He was only one short of the all-time one-day international record, Richards's unbeaten 189 against England at Manchester in 1984. It was South Africa's first World Cup century. Kirsten batted throughout the innings, hitting four sixes and 13 fours in 159 balls. He added 116 with Cronje and 145 with Cullinan in the final 20 overs. The Emirates' openers were commendably aggressive and their ninth-wicket pair solid in defence, but in between they lost eight for 48. Donald hit Zarawani on the head first ball - he had emerged in a floppy hat rather than a helmet, and was taken to hospital for a check-up when he was out seven balls later. But South Africa then dropped a gear and allowed Arshad Laiq and Dukanwala to bat out the last 22 overs, more than doubling the score.

Man of the Match: G. Kirsten.

© John Wisden & Co