Blast from the past: Boks rain on France’s parade

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Blast from the past: Boks rain on France’s parade

Today in SA sports history: June 17

Sports reporter

Today in SA sports history: June 17

1995 — The Springboks take on France in the World Cup semifinal at a sodden King’s Park in Durban. The match is delayed as workers try to dry the field. Flank Ruben Kruger scores the only try of the match as the home team scrape home 19-15, with the French pressing on their line in the final minutes. Now for the final against the seemingly unbeatable All Blacks, who had swept all before them, partly with the help of the unstoppable winger, Jonah Lomu.

1999 — One of the darkest days in South African sport as the Proteas are eliminated by Australia from the Cricket World Cup. In their semifinal at Edgbaston in Birmingham, SA captain Hansie Cronje won the toss and put Australia in to bat first, bowling them out for 213. Skipper Steve Waugh (56) and Michael Bevan (65) were the only batsmen to make meaningful contributions. Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs took SA to 43/0 after 10 overs, when Waugh brought spinner Shane Warne into the attack — and he struck, dismissing Gibbs in his second over and Kirsten in his third. Apart from Jacques Kallis (53) and Jonty Rhodes (43), the wickets tumbled regularly. Eventually SA needed nine off the final over, with one wicket standing. Lance Klusener, who had saved SA several times in recent matches, was on strike, Damien Fleming was bowling. Klusener hit two consecutive fours to tie the scores, leaving SA with one run to win. Fleming bowled a dot ball. And then madness descended — Klusener ran a suicidal single, but the Australian fielder failed to pick up the ball. The run was on, but Allan Donald at the other end stood unmoved before dropping his bat and running. He was run out by a mile. The match was tied, but Australia advanced to the final because they finished higher in the Super Six. The loss to Zimbabwe had come back to bite...

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