On This Day in 2000, for the first time in history, a cricket match at an international level was played indoors. South Africa toured Australia in 2000 for a three-match ODI series from 16th August to 20th August. Cricket Australia (CA) came up with the unique idea to hosting cricket indoors at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium. However, their idea was to save the game from spoilage due to inclement weather conditions.
The historic day came with a spectacular 15 minute light show by players from both the teams. They were familiar on this day in 2000 to the crowd of 25,785. Although, The coin went in favor of visiting captain Shaun Pollock and he decided to field first.
Batting first, Australia got off to a bad start. The team lost their top three batsmen Adam Gilchrist, Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting for 1, 17 and 16 runs respectively. After the initial setback, Australia managed to make a strong comeback courtesy of Michael Bevan and Steve Waugh. Both the players shared a 222-run partnership for the fourth wicket to take the hosts to a challenging total of 295 runs in 50 overs. Michael Bevan fell to Pollock after scoring 106. On the other hand, Steve Waugh remained unbeaten and played a brilliant innings of 114 runs in 103 balls at a strike rate of 110.68.
Chasing 296, When it came South Africa's turn to reply, Gary Kirsten (43) and Kallis (42) hit some fine strokes. They pulled a determined effort at the start of the second innings. But, against an attack that far more keenly recognised the importance of confining itself to bowling. Although, Glenn McGrath went wicketless (0/28) was possibly the pick of the home team's bowlers. However, back in their home town, all-rounder Ian Harvey (3/41) and a relaxed-looking Shane Warne (2/39) also acquitted themselves well.
"We got the momentum going our way and South Africa couldn't seem to pull it back," enthused Waugh after the match. "We were very good in the field, if we play that well again, we're going to be very hard to beat."
In truth, this was a game which never reached any great heights but its historic significance still brought to it much interest. Certainly, the stadium itself seemed to survive the experiment well. A few of the players acted much like charged particles would do in any confined space. Even against the strains of the cacophony of music which greeted incoming batsmen, changes of bowler, wickets, fours and sixes. Moreover, there were also at least the occasional moments of entertaining cricket before a lid of another kind.