World Cup 1999, fifth group A match

South Africa v Sri Lanka

At Northampton, May 19. South Africa won by 89 runs. Toss: Sri Lanka.

The South Africans showed their resilience with a brilliant victory after a start that would probably have floored any other team in the world. Put in, South Africa collapsed, with two of the wickets falling to contentious decisions from the third umpire Ken Palmer. First, he ruled that Pollock was caught when the ball ricocheted off Ranatunga's shin to the bowler; everyone else who saw the replay thought it had bounced first. Palmer then gave out Cullinan, caught by Vaas, who got rid of the ball just before he toppled over the boundary. This seemed justifiable under Law 32: Vaas retained complete control over the further disposal of the ball before touching the rope. Few South Africans took this view.

Cullinan's dismissal made South Africa 122 for eight. They got to 199 thanks to a blast from Klusener, who hit an unbeaten 52 off 45 deliveries, including 22 in the last over off Vaas. South Africa took the field fired up. Kallis achieved swing at a fierce pace, removed Sri Lanka's top three in nine balls, and had a slip catch dropped. The sight of Donald coming on second change and Klusener next was far too much for the remaining batsmen.

Man of the Match: L. Klusener. Attendance: 7,326.

© John Wisden & Co