On this day 14 years earlier, South Africa completed a monumental & record-setting run-chase against Australia, chasing down 434 runs with a wicket to spare when it appeared that all was lost for South Africa. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting's 164-run knock had put enormous pressure on South Africa in the series-deciding fifth and final ODI. The Australian top-order ensured that the visitors got past the 400-run mark, with each scoring more than fifty plus runs in the game. Herschelle Gibbs & Graeme Smith spearheaded the Proteas run-chase, putting together a 187-run stand for the second wicket partnership despite losing opener Dippenaar earlier.
The Proteas opener took the onus on himself after Graeme Smith's dismissal and when he was running out of partners at the other end. Herschelle Gibbs' whirlwind knock comprised of 21 fours and seven sixes, with a staggering strike rate of 157.6. Speaking to Republic World exclusively, Herschelle Gibbs revealed that he had played the game with the utmost freedom and that Graeme Smith and himself had set the tone of the chase with their show at the top, helping the lower order to finish off the game successfully for the Proteas, something that no one expected them to do on that day.
"I almost didn't play the game... It was a game I played with complete freedom, chasing a big total. We (Graeme Smith) set the tone for the game and set the platform for the last 20 overs. I think the spectacle we (both teams) put out for the sport was unbelievable for the sport", Herschelle Gibbs on South Africa's monumental run-chase against Australia.
Talking about the present scenario of the South African side, Herschelle Gibbs said that there are going to be testing times ahead and that Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis have already embarked on their mission. Talking about the speculated return of former skipper Ab DeVilliers ahead of the T20 World Cup, Herschelle Gibbs said that it would improve South Africa's chances in the showpiece tournament.