On this day in 1999: Klusener’s sensational performance drowns Sri Lanka


During his playing days, he was one of the most prominent all-rounders of his era. Lance Klusener was excellent with the ball, he could strike lusty blows with the bat, and was also good on the field. And, during the 1999 World Cup league stage encounter between South Africa and Sri Lanka, Klusener’s sensational all-round show helped the Proteas thrash Sri Lanka in a low scoring encounter.

Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to field first. And, South Africa experienced a disastrous start to their innings. The Hansie Cronje-led side was tottering at 69/5, and things looked bleak for the South African side.

But then, Lance Klusener infused life into the South African innings. The left-hander scored a vital 52* off 45 deliveries, stayed till the end and ensured that South Africa posted a fighting total of 199/9 in their allotted 50 overs. Apart from Klusener, the other willow wielder who contributed with the bat was Daryll Cullinan, who scored 49 off 82 deliveries.

Sri Lanka never really got going with the willow and were reduced to 31/5 inside 15 overs. Shaun Pollock and Jacques Kallis did most of the damage with the ball upfront and scalped 4 out of the first 5 wickets to fall between them. And then, it was the turn of Lance Klusener to show his prowess with the ball in hand.

The right-arm pacer polished off the Sri Lankan lower order. In the 5.2 overs that he bowled, Klusener gave away 21 runs and also scalped 3 wickets. And, Sri Lanka had no answers to the questions that the South Africa bowlers threw at them, and were bowled out for a total of just 110.

The highest run-scorer for Sri Lanka was Roshan Mahanama, who scored 36 off 71 deliveries. Apart from Mahanama, Mahela Jayawardene scored 22 runs off 32 deliveries. And, needless to say, Lance Klusener was awarded the Player of the Match award for his stunning all-round display that allowed South Africa to post a comfortable 89-run victory over Sri Lanka on 19th May 1999.