Kapp pleased with progress but rues missed chance

Star allrounder Marizanne Kapp felt if South Africa ‘did the basics a little bit better’ they might’ve walked away with a T20 series victory

Marizanne Kapp says the next step for South Africa is learning now to nail the small moments against the world’s best team, after they pushed Australia but failed to secure a T20 series win in a tense decider in Hobart.

The Proteas landed in Australia with a less experienced group than the one that fell five runs short of a semi-final win over the Aussies during the 2020 T20 World Cup, following the retirements of stars Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail and Dane van Niekerk.

Australia’s five-wicket win on Tuesday ensured the hosts walked away with a 2-1 series win, but the Proteas made them fight all the way, claiming an historic first win over their rivals in the second game, and ensuring both other games went down to the final over.

"Especially with the players we've lost over the last couple of years, we knew this was going to be a tough tour of Australia, playing the Aussies in their own backyard," Kapp told reporters following the game. 

"The way we've fought and how close we've come in all three games, it's good signs – but I would personally like a win now.

"To have stayed in the game until the last over, it's good for us, but we're going to have to learn somehow to now change the result of these close games and be on the winning side.

"I felt like if we could have done the basics a little bit better tonight, it probably would have made the difference."

Australia v South Africa | Third T20I

South Africa and Australia have a limited bilateral history – this series was the first time they have played T20Is outside of World Cups, while their last one-day series was in 2016.

But the Proteas have pushed the Australians when given the opportunity – most notably in that World Cup semi-final at the SCG, where the hosts squeezed home in a rain-affected thriller.

They had the ascendancy for periods during last year’s T20 World Cup final in Cape Town, only for Australia to hold on for a 19-run win.

Going further back, in 2016 South Africa were in a strong position to win their first one-dayer against Australia in Coffs Harbour, only for a late rally by the hosts to see the game end in a tie.

'A few basic errors cost us the game': Kapp

And earlier the same year, the Proteas had Australia 3-9 chasing 103 during the group stage of the T20 World Cup, only for Alex Blackwell to combine with an unwell Meg Lanning to save the day.

"I've always felt a lot of our World Cup games against Australia especially in T20 cricket, we've had them by the neck and then we just let them loose," Kapp said. 

"But I feel like the last three games we got them in those positions and then we just held them under pressure for a little bit longer and that's probably why the games were a lot closer this time around."

Kapp, who hit a career-high 75 in her 100th T20I, was particularly impressed with how the Proteas fought back from 3-28 to post 7-162, their highest total against Australia.

Kapp lights up Bellerive in milestone match

"If you look at (us a few) years ago, we probably would have been bowled out for 80 to 100 (from there). 

"Just the way throughout this whole series the girls have fought back, we probably only had one ideal start and that was in the second T20. 

"So the way we've been fighting both with bat and ball has been so good to see and we can only get stronger as a team."

South Africa now turn their attention to the one-day leg of the multi-format series, where they will hope to go one step further than that 2016 tie and claim their first win over Australia in 50-over cricket.

Women's CommBank T20I Series v South Africa

First T20: Australia won by eight wickets

Second T20: South Africa won by six wickets

January 30: Australia won by five wickets

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