What We Remember

The 438 ODI

Four hundred had never been breached before in ODIs. On a March evening in Johannesburg, the mark was surpassed twice

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
Jacques Kallis, not known for quick wit or dry humour, put a much needed smile on his team-mates' faces after they conceded 434 runs against Australia in a deciding ODI in Johannesburg. As the team gathered in the change room, Kallis is reported to have said something along the lines of, "Ah well, the bowlers have done their bit, time for the batsmen."
That Kallis was able to see the lighter side is made only more remarkable by the fact that, of South Africa's seven bowlers, he was the most expensive in the match. His six overs cost 70 runs, while every other bowler was taken for at least 7.25 an over, as Ricky Ponting plundered runs at will. Ponting's 164 came off 105 balls, but whatever the Australia captain could do, it turned out a hungover Herschelle Gibbs could do better.
In his biography Gibbs revealed how he'd spent the previous evening overindulging, only returning to his hotel room in the early hours of the morning and almost missing the team bus. But he starred in a 187-run second-wicket stand with Graeme Smith and went on to score 175 off 111 balls to put his side in a winning position.
At 299 for 3 in the 32nd over, South Africa were primed to pull off the impossible, but they lost Gibbs, and shortly after, Kallis and Justin Kemp, leaving Mark Boucher to marshal the tail. Eventually it came down to Makhaya Ntini, who was facing the penultimate ball with two to win. Ntini stole a single to third man, leaving Boucher to strike a boundary off the final ball to make history in more ways than one.
Mick Lewis, conceded 113 runs off his ten overs, the most in ODI history, while South Africa's 438 for 9 became the highest score in 50-over cricket.
The total has since been surpassed three times - once by South Africa at the same ground, when they scored 439 for 2 against West Indies nine years later, but that 2006 match is still billed as the greatest ODI, especially in South Africa.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent