The South Africa Vs Australia Test match at Cape Town on November 11, 2011, witnessed a rare phenomenon which came once in a thousand years. The number 11 played a significant part and such was the heights of coincidence that cricket spectators and Statisticians were left dumbfounded. The three-day match featured plenty of records but on the third day of the Test, there was a statistical anomaly which left people aghast. On November 11, 2011, South Africa needed 111 runs and the time was 11:11 AM. Thus, on 11/11/11, South Africa required 111 runs to win the Test and the timing was 11:11 AM.
It was a brilliant Test match for South Africa who bounced back in remarkable style. Australia were boosted by a knock of 151 from Michael Clarke. In response, Shane Watson took 5/17 and Ryan Harris responded with four wickets as Australia bowled out South Africa for 96. Armed with a 188-run lead, Australia were in the driver's seat but they suffered a spectacular collapse.
Vernon Philander took 5/15 and backed by Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, Australia were reduced to 21/9 and it was felt that they would be bowled out for the lowest total in Test cricket. However, a last wicket stand of 26 between Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon helped Australia reach 47 before they were bowled out. By the end of the day, South Africa had lost Jacques Rudolph as 23 wickets fell on the day. Gary Kirsten, the former coach of the Indian cricket team, was feeling unwell and had not watched the match. When he saw the scoreboard, he thought that there was a rain break but little did he realise the carnage unleashed by the bowlers.
Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla ensured there were no further hiccups and when South Africa reached 125/1 on day 3, the equation read 111 more runs to win. The fact that it took place on November 11, 2011 and the timing was 11:11 AM, the statistical miracle became the major news. Smith and Amla smashed centuries and South Africa won the match by eight wickets. However, they failed to win the series as Australia won the next Test in Johannesburg by three wickets to level the two-match series 1-1.
Clarke's century, 23 wickets on day 2 and the statistical miracle. The Cape Town Test on November 11, 2011 as truly memorable for the right reasons.