Match Report:


Proteas women make history with first ever win over Australia

Skipper Laura Wolvaardt leads South Africa to first victory over Aussies in the 24th clash between the nations

Australia v South Africa | Second T20I

South Africa have made history at Manuka Oval, defeating Australia for the first time in women’s internationals with a famous six-wicket victory in the second T20I.

Tazmin Brits (41 from 28) set the tone early in the Proteas’ pursuit of Australia’s 6-142 before captain Laura Wolvaardt (58no from 53) anchored the chase, steering her team home with an over to spare.

South Africa’s bowlers, led by Masabata Klaas (2-16), had earlier set the tone to restrict Australia’s deep batting line-up to a below-par total despite Grace Harris’ late 31no from 18.

Their victory sets up a T20I series decider at Blundstone Arena on Tuesday night, and levels the multi-format series at two points apiece.

It is a win that will go down in history: in 23 previous completed white-ball matches between the teams, the closest South Africa had come to toppling the world’s best team was a tied ODI in Coffs Harbour in 2016.

Needing to bounce back from their eight-wicket defeat a day earlier, the Proteas produced a vastly improved performance in all facets.

Brits had recovered from a sluggish start to top score for the Proteas a day earlier, but the opener was on song from ball one on Sunday.

She pulled the second delivery she faced from Megan Schutt for four, then followed up with glorious drives to the boundary off Ashleigh Gardner and Annabel Sutherland.

Brits' blitz sets up South Africa's successful chase

The 33-year-old smacked eight boundaries as she raced to 41, before Australia finally broke the 75-run opening stand in the 10th over when Georgia Wareham hung onto a brilliant catch running back from mid-off.

But Brits had laid the foundation for South Africa, who needed 68 from 62 as Marizanne Kapp joined Wolvaardt in the middle.

The experienced pair had the Proteas cruising until the 15th over when Kapp looked to clear the long-on boundary, but only managed to pick out Grace Harris in the deep, out for 20 off 18.

When Megan Schutt had Sune Luus (1) caught behind two balls later, leaving the Proteas needing 33 from 29, the door to yet another off-the-mats victory opened just slightly for the Australians.

But a classic Wolvaardt drive through the covers for four eased the pressure before Anneke Bosch was dropped over the rope by Harris for six.

Wolvaardt hits fifty to lead Proteas to history-making win

When Bosch was bowled by Gardner from the final ball of the 18th over, it became a simple 12 from 12 equation.

Alyssa Healy missed a chance to stump Wolvaardt next ball, and when the South African skipper dispatched Schutt’s next two balls for four, she brought up a 51-ball half-century and left her side just four runs away, before Chloe Tryon iced victory.

Earlier, South Africa's bowlers were superb in holding Australia to 6-142.

Australia elected to bat first to give their incredibly deep batting line-up – featuring allrounder Heather Graham at No.10 – which gave them a chance to flex their muscle after they chased 6-147 without looking stretched a day prior.

But the hosts stuttered against a disciplined bowling display from the Proteas.

Healy (29 from 24) made a bright start as she picked up on her aggressive form from Saturday, hitting five boundaries.

But after she was bowled by Klass in the ninth over, regular wickets curtailed the hosts’ momentum until a late cameo from Harris (32no off 18) added crucial runs.

Beth Mooney was the beneficiary of lives on 0 and 10 as both Ayabonga Khaka and Klaas put down simple return chances.

But her luck ran out on 13, ironically thanks to a third dropped catch.

Healy hit a ball straight back to Klaas who again could not hang onto the chance – but the ball ricocheted off her hands and onto the stumps, running out non-striker Mooney.

Missed catches aside, Klaas was outstanding for the tourists, also dismissing Phoebe Litchfield in her spell of 2-16 from three overs, while spinners Nonkululeko Mlaba (1-18) and Tryon (0-10) tied down the Australians during the middle overs.

Tahlia McGrath was again unable to get going, and after working her way to 23 from 27 deliveries she advanced on Mlaba only to be stumped, leaving Australia 3-84.

That triggered a collapse of 3-9, as Litchfield (2) was well caught by Tryon in the deep and Ellyse Perry (18 from 19) suffered the same fate, holing out to the bowling of Kapp.

From 5-93, Australia looked to rebuild through the powerful pair of Gardner and Harris – the latter batting in a T20I on home soil for the first time since 2016.

After no boundaries were scored for 29 balls from the 13th over, Gardner finally found the rope thanks to a misfield at the start of the 18th, but was out caught a ball later for 10 from eight deliveries.

At 6-124 after 19 overs and staring down the barrel of a below-par total, Harris went after Khaka’s final over.

The decision to stick with the veteran right-armer, whose first three overs had gone for 32 runs, proved costly as Harris hammered two fours and a six, with 18 runs in total helping Australia to 6-142 as Khaka finished with figures of 0-50.

Graham had replaced Darcie Brown in the Australian XI, with the express quick being managed through a condensed schedule.

The series now moves to Hobart, where the final T20I will be played at Blundstone Arena on Tuesday night.

Women's CommBank T20I Series v South Africa

*The multi-format series is tied at 2-2

January 27: Australia won by 8 wickets

January 28: South Africa won by 6 wickets

January 30: Third T20, Blundstone Arena, Hobart 7.05pm

Women's CommBank ODI Series v South Africa

February 3: First ODI, Adelaide Oval, 2.10pm

February 7: Second ODI, North Sydney Oval, 2.40pm

February 10: Third ODI, North Sydney Oval, 2.40pm

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Darcie Brown, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris*, Jess Jonassen, Alana King**, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham *T20s only | **ODIs only

South Africa squad (T20Is & ODIs): Laura Wolvaardt (c), Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Mieke de Ridder (wk), Ayanda Hlubi, Sinalo Jafta (wk), Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Suné Luus, Eliz-Mari Marx, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Chloe Tryon, Delmi Tucker

Women's CommBank Test Match v South Africa

February 15-18: Only Test, WACA Ground, Perth 11.00am