Women’s T20I: South Africa register historic first win over Australia

Skipper Laura Wolvaardt produced a stylish performance with the bat to help lead South Africa to a landmark six-wicket T20I victory over Australia, here on Sunday.

Skipper Laura Wolvaardt produced a stylish performance with the bat to help lead South Africa to a landmark six-wicket T20I victory over Australia, here on Sunday.

Wolvaardt paced the Proteas’ chase with an unbeaten 58 as South Africa eased past Australia’s modest total of 142/6 with an over remaining to level the T20I portion of their multi-format series at one-win apiece, reports ICC.

It was South Africa’s first-ever victory over Australia in women’s T20I history and is sure to provide a boost in confidence to the Proteas ahead of this year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

Advertisement

South Africa reached the final of the most recent T20 World Cup when they hosted the event in 2023. They fell at the last hurdle though, as Australia picked up their sixth title with a 19-run victory over the Proteas in the tournament decider in Cape Town.

South Africa and a host of other leading countries may fancy their chances of ending Australia’s stranglehold on the event, with the recent retirement of skipper Meg Lanning and some indifferent form of late providing sides with some much-needed confidence ahead of this year’s tournament.

England, West Indies, India and now South Africa have all registered wins over Australia since their last T20 World Cup triumph and the Proteas will fancy their chances of winning the T20I portion of their series against the Aussies in the third match of their series in Hobart on Tuesday.

While Wolvaardt will receive the bulk of the praise for her Player of the Match winning exploits at Manuka Oval, South Africa received strong contributions from a host of their players and their bowlers impressed to restrict Australia to such a small total.

Experienced seamer Masabata Klaas (2/16) was the only multiple wicket taker for the tourists, with star pacer Marizanne Kapp (1/22) and young spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba (1/18) also bowling well to put the clamps on the home side.

Hard-hitting middle-order batter Grace Harris top-scored for Australia with an unbeaten 31*, but the top-order of the home side never really got going despite a decent knock of 29 from skipper Alyssa Healy.

Tazmin Brits (41) and Wolvaardt put on 75 for the opening wicket to put South Africa’s run chase in control and the skipper was at the crease at the end alongside Chloe Tryon to help the visitors cruise home with one over remaining.

The win levels the multi-format series at two points apiece, with both teams picking up two points for their victories in the opening T20I contests here.

(IANS)