30 Days, 30 Questions: The greatest game of cricket

The one that caused you to skip class, drop work, hold bladder, and scream like a teenage girl at a boyband concert.

The epic finish at Birmingham

Next up in 30 Days, 30 Questions, we ask you:

We've all seen games of cricket that have forced us to bunk classes, be late for work, stretch our bladders to their limits, and scream and jump like excited teenagers. Which would be that one game for you?

Yahoo! Cricket's answer:
The best contests are those ones where you're never sure of the winner till the end. The opponents go on and on, trading blows like exhausted boxers fighting with their last fume of energy but refusing to give up. As an audience, nothing compels us more than such edge-of-the-seat action. One such game we've been privileged to see is (we know, we know — what an obvious choice) the 1999 World Cup semifinal between Australia and South Africa.

After penetrative spells by two of the finest pacers of the modern era — Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock — South Africa were in sniffing distance of the Lord's final, especially with the cracking start provided by Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs.

But Shane Warne willed the game in his direction with a stupendous opening spell. The ball to dismiss Gibbs would rival his own Ball of The Century to Mike Gatting. Jacques Kallis and Jonty Rhodes pulled the Saffers back in to the hunt with their 84-run stand, but they collapsed again.

With one wicket standing, Lance Klusener hit two of the hardest cover-drives known to mankind, bringing South Africa within a run of the final. But Donald's epic error caused the run-out that put Australia in the final and on the path to a decade of unprecedented success in international cricket. Whichever side one supported in that game, one's emotions ran wild, often making us overlook the fact that nobody won this game. It was a tie — perhaps, fittingly so.

Post your answers in the comments below and we'll republish the best comments.


Update [March 8]: Thank you for your responses. We are republishing the best ones here.

1 — The popular response was the Johannesburg ODI of 2006 where South Africa chased down Australia's 434. There are two schools of thought here — one that considers the World Cup semifinal above the greatest ODI ever because it was a hard-fought low-scorer. And another that considers this Jo'burg game the greatest because it was years ahead of its time considering the maddening weight of runs scored.

2 — The India-Pakistan World T20 final was another classic.

3 — The 2011 World Cup final was a huge moment for many Indians.

4 — Who can forget the Birmingham Test of 2005 where Australia lost by 2 runs?

Thanks folks, and keep visiting 30 Days, 30 Questions.

All Questions