But the World Cup group match in Rawalpindi 19 years ago isn’t remembered for South Africa’s 169-run win as much as it is for one famous incident involving UAE captain Sultan Zarawani (above) and Proteas quick Allan Donald.
Chasing a target of 322, the UAE were 68/6 when Zarawani casually strolled in to face Donald, wearing a floppy hat instead of a helmet. Donald, arguably the world’s quickest bowler at the time, and at the high of his powers, was incensed.
He duly bowled the Emirates captain a bouncer first ball, which struck him on the head. After going down on his knees, the batsman played on; only to last another six balls before going out to Brian McMillan.
Donald later admitted in his autobiography he feared that he had killed Zarawani when he saw him fall.’
“This helmet thing made me claustrophobic, I never wore one,” Zarawani, incidentally the only Emirates native in the 1996 side, said in a recent interview.
There were no lasting effects from the hit on his head and he claims not to bear any grudges against Donald, admitting that he might have called him a name or two in the immediate aftermath.