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On This Day: South Africa's 1992 World Cup Campaign Ended by Rain & England

They were rendered helpless against a target of 22 from a single ball.

On This Day: South Africa's 1992 World Cup Campaign Ended by Rain & England

It's been close to three decades since the 1992 World Cup heartbreak in Sydney for South Africa. The Proteas had an abruptly tragic end imposed on them against England, who in all probability would’ve won the contentious World Cup semi-final match.But, it led to one of the most unusual exits in international cricket.

During the course of the 1992 World Cup tournament, South Africans had performed impressively to reach the semi-final stage. Earlier in the match, batting first, England set a big target of 252/6, despite South Africa’s best bowling efforts,with the help of Greame Hick’s 83 and Dermot Reeves’ splendid 25 off 14 balls.

In reply, South Africa chased well and needed just 22 runs off 13 balls to beat England at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) when rain played spoil sport. They were trailing at 231/6 after 42.5 overs,when it rained.Two overs were deducted after the rain induced interval and once play resumed, South Africa's target remained the same but from two overs. But due to the archaic rain rule, they were rendered helpless against a target of 22 from a single ball. The daunting rule not only crashed all their hopes for a spot in the 1992 final fixture, but it also dashed all their campaign, searching for its first World Cup title.

Many blame their dramatic crash out slow over rate and lowest scoring over rain rules among others for their debacle. However, they were rendered helpless against a target of 22 from a single ball. It was another case of so near yet so far for the South Africans.

While on the other hand, the much-ridiculed rain rule was not enforced when the match had started with a ten-minute rain delay. England were not slapped with a reduction of overs as it was decided by the game’s mandarins that the interval would be delayed to 6.10 PM (from 6 PM) and would be shortened by ten minutes. Hence, there would be no reduction in the number of overs otherwise.

Such tense moments brought a reanalysis of the contentious rain rule, which was eventually replaced by the Duckworth-Lewis (now Duckworth-Lewis-Stern) method.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking