We started the last day bowling and realised the pitch had flattened out. Hansie Cronje agreed to set 245 in 75 overs, but they hit a four off the last ball to make it 249. Still, this was a target we could chase down. We lost early wickets and felt we could lose the game so, basically, we had to bed in for a while. But then I remember they brought on Pieter Strydom, a part-time, left-arm spinner.
Cronje bowled himself and lobbed up a few outside off stump for me. The intensity had dropped. They wanted a result.
I made 69 and we won the game with Darren Gough belting the winning runs. It was a great feeling. My first Test win.
I had made a score and was named man of the match. It meant I ended the series believing I could perform at Test level and that I belonged in international cricket. It was a big step forward in my career. I never suspected match-fixing. Why would you as a young player? But the one thing that struck me as strange was why that South Africa team had decided to give us a sniff.
They were a hard bunch and very tough competitors. They were a bit like Australia in that regard, and yet they agreed to a deal. I remember thinking a few days later that it was odd.
But I was still stunned when it broke a few months later that Cronje was doing anything to get a result as part of his deal with a bookie. There had been whispers of match-fixing before, but it was something you never really expected to see first hand.
I had never heard of “spot-fixing”. There was no anti-corruption unit in those days. No anti-corruption education.
You could take your phone around with you and all sorts of people would have access to the dressing room.
It was a different era. Cronje ended all that. There is never any excuse for match-fixing, but more so in this era, when players are briefed constantly by the International Cricket Council.
I know it is a hard line, but I believe if you are caught fixing then you should be banned for life. It does so much damage to the game. I cannot see any other way of stopping people.
Yes, there are sometimes extenuating circumstances when a young, vulnerable player is corrupted by a more experienced teammate. Then you need sympathy for the young player and to rehabilitate him. But, in general, fixing is done by experienced players who should know better. Kick them out.
The Telegraph, London
Michael Vaughan is the former captain of the England Test cricket team