Proteas enter rare territory with maiden win over Australia

A first ODI win to follow their first T20 win against Australia has South Africa riding high ahead of Saturday's series decider

Peach! Marizanne magic ends Mooney's night early

South Africa allrounder Marizanne Kapp labelled their historic ODI win over Australia on Wednesday night one of the proudest moments of her career.

The Proteas romped to an 84-run victory over the world's top-ranked side at North Sydney Oval, backing up their maiden win in the T20I format in Canberra 10 days earlier.

For a South Africa outfit still going through a period of change under new captain Laura Wolvaardt following four high profile retirements in recent years (although one of those, former captain Dane van Niekerk, did announce her desire to return to international cricket on broadcast during the game) it was a landmark moment, going one step further than their tied one-dayer in Coffs Harbour in 2016.

"It's a proud moment, not only for me but for South African cricket as well," Kapp said after the game.

"We all know we've never beaten Australia in a one-day game so to be able to perform and help my team over the line is obviously a massive achievement for me."

Classy Kapp lifts Proteas with sparkling fifty

To put South Africa's achievement into more context, from 64 completed matches when chasing in home ODIs, Australia had only eight times, and only once since 2010.

They also had not been defeated in a one-dayer at North Sydney Oval since 2009.

While Kapp was instrumental, top-scoring with 75 and ripping through Australia's top three taking 3-12, it was the support she received that was also telling – and the fact it did not come from the bat of captain Wolvaardt, who was dismissed for a duck on the third ball of the match.

Anneke Bosch struck a smart 44 at No.3, while rookie quicks Eliz-Mari Marx and Ayanda Hlubi, the latter on debut, captured four wickets between them to back up Kapp's destructive opening spell.

Then there is also the fact the Proteas were coming off a humbling eight-wicket loss in Adelaide three days earlier, where they were skittled for 105.

Australia v South Africa | Second ODI

"That's what makes it so special," Kapp said.

"That we got a proper hiding in Adelaide and to come out today fighting, it wasn't easy conditions at all, especially with the bat.

"This win, it shows a fight and grit from the team and to do it on a tough wicket, it speaks volumes.

"(Hlubi and Marx) have been brilliant, I feel like they have massive careers ahead of them – for now, there's big boots to fill, we all know how good (retired quick Shabnim Ismail) is and she's missed, I'm not going to lie, but it's so good to see different bowlers picking up their hands."

Wednesday's game was the first time Australia had lost an ODI to a team other than England or India since February 2017, when they went down to New Zealand in Auckland.

First ODI win against Australia women

1973: England at Birmingham

1985: New Zealand at Melbourne

1995: India at Levin

2013: West Indies at Mumbai

2024: South Africa at North Sydney

South Africa are now the fifth team to ever beat the Aussies in the 50-over game, with West Indies the last team to post a maiden win over them, all the way back in 2013 – and the Windies' win count over Australia remains at one.

Asked if Australia's unbeatable aura, cultivated during their unprecedented run of 26 consecutive ODI wins between 2018 and 2021, had dimmed somewhat following the significant departures of Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes and Matthew Mott, Kapp said: "Yes, definitely."

"Losing someone like Lanning, you're not going to be able to replace her, not her captaincy or her batting.

"I remember too many games where we had Australia in trouble and she came out to bat and she saved them.

"Everyone is catching up a bit around the world, even your associate teams are picking up against your lower-ranked teams so it's good for the woman's game.

"It's a lot more challenging and hopefully this can continue."

'Everyone is catching up': Kapp hails historic win

Australia had elected to bowl first with rain threatening at North Sydney Oval, and in wet conditions were below their best in the field, with a series of slip ups including five dropped catches.

But a target of 234 still looked very gettable, before Kapp's early blitz was backed up by her pace counterparts, leaving the hosts 8-71.

Only a 77-run ninth-wicket stand between Ashleigh Gardner and Kim Garth saved Australia from a record defeat.

"The initial feeling is disappointment, but I think credit to South Africa, they batted well in tough conditions and then used the new ball beautifully and set the game up," Garth said.

"We'll reflect on that and take some good learnings into the last game.

Garth's late cameo adds respectability to Aussie total

"I don't think we can really blame the weather conditions (for fielding mishaps) ...nobody means to drop them (but) that's something we'll reflect on and look to tidy up going into the final ODI.

"Obviously we would much prefer to have won every game but I think it's really good for the broader game that we're being challenged.

"Every team's beating each other almost, which makes for an exciting time for women's cricket."

Gardner had earlier left the field during Australia's bowling innings due to hamstring tightness, and they will not want to take any risks with the star allrounder head of next week's Test at the WACA Ground, even with an ODI series decider looming on Saturday.

Ellyse Perry was also out of sorts as she struggled with an upset stomach, dropping down from No.3 to No.5 and looking visibly unwell in the dugout before she batted.

"It didn't look to me like she was hampered too much, so I think she did really well – she batted beautifully so I don't think there's too much to worry about there," Garth said of Gardner.

"(Perry's) not feeling the best … it's not ideal timing and all that but I've absolutely no doubt she'll be out there on Saturday, knowing Pez."

Women's CommBank T20I Series v South Africa

First T20: Australia won by eight wickets

Second T20: South Africa won by six wickets

Third T20: Australia win by five wickets

Women's CommBank ODI Series v South Africa

First ODI: Australia won by eight wickets

February 7: South Africa won by 84 runs

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