Proteas want more after breaking Aussie hoodoo

South Africa believe they can beat the Australians on the biggest stage now they have a maiden triumph under their belts

Wolvaardt reflects on 'very special' first win over Australia

When South Africa tied a one-day international with Australia in 2016, then-captain Dane van Niekerk described the hollow feeling of almost, but not quite toppling the world’s top-ranked team as ‘like kissing your brother’. 

The Proteas would have to wait more than six years to finally go a step further and get their first win over Australia in any format – a period that saw them fall five runs short in the 2020 T20 World Cup semi-final, before being heartbroken on home soil in last year’s World Cup decider in Cape Town.

But on Sunday Laura Wolvaardt’s team finally got the monkey off their back, producing a dominant display with bat and ball in the second T20I in Canberra to upset the Aussies by six wickets.

Now, Wolvaardt hopes that result can open the floodgates, with a T20I series decider looming in Hobart on Tuesday night, and the greater context of the multi-format series which currently sits level at two points apiece.

It is also a shot in the arm for a young side going through a rebuilding phase following the retirements of stars van Niekerk, Lizelle Lee, Shabnim Ismail and Mignon du Preez across the last two years.

Australia v South Africa | Second T20I

"It's very special for us … we've got a lot of new young players in the side and to have this new dynamic young team beating the world champs is very special," Wolvaardt said.

"It’s something that hopefully can change our mindset and hopefully the voodoo is a bit broken now and we can beat them on a more regular basis."

'We love a series decider': Harris upbeat despite loss

Prior to this series, South Africa had only met Australia at World Cups in the T20 format.

The chance to play – and beat – the world’s top-ranked team in a bilateral series will mean the Proteas are better prepared next time they front up to the Aussies in an ICC tournament, Wolvaardt believes.

Wolvaardt hits fifty to lead Proteas to history-making win

"Just knowing in the back of our minds that we have beaten them and can beat them (is important)," she said.

"It's always tough coming up against them in a World Cup final knowing that we've never ever beaten them in our history.

"So just to have this one win will hopefully do us very well in future tournaments and to have this extended run against them is awesome."

On a smaller scale, Wolvaardt was also full of praise for the way her team turned around Saturday’s eight-wicket defeat in the series opener, particularly in the adjustments made by her bowling attack.

Opening batter Tazmin Brits also turned around a sluggish start with the bat in game one, producing an early blitz on Sunday that put immediately the Aussie bowlers on the back foot defending a below-par total.

Brits' blitz sets up South Africa's successful chase

"To make those changes overnight I think was really impressive," she said.

"The wicket was a little trickier today, a little slower and our bowlers just hit the lengths a bit better.

"I think yesterday every over we just gave them that half volley and today we were just a lot tighter.

"Our fields were a bit better to the line we were bowling as well.

"And then Tazmin was just incredible upfront – we knew we needed a quick start and I was struggling a bit up front to get in but she just absolutely took so much pressure off the rest of the line-up."

South Africa are just the fifth team to beat Australia in international women’s cricket, in any format, joining England, New Zealand, India and the West Indies.

But Wolvaardt said her team would not get ahead of themselves going into the series decider.

"They're still the best side of the world and we've still got to play some really special cricket," she said.

"I know they'll probably come even harder in Hobart with the series on the line."

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