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AUS vs SA Day 3: All-round Show Guide Australia To Seal The Test vs South Africa

Australia defeated South Africa by an innings and 284 runs in the one-off Test in Perth, which lasted three days. The Proteas’ gutsy performance with the bat, which marked a significant improvement from their 76 all out on day one, forced the Australians to work hard for the final seven wickets on Saturday.

However, when Alana King held the ensuing catch 30 minutes into the final session, concluding the Proteas’ second innings on 215, she secured a thrilling victory in the maiden Test between the teams. Delmi Tucker (64 off 181) with Tazmin Brits (31 off 127) combined for a tough 96-run stand to thwart Australia throughout the morning session, with the former scoring a clinical maiden Test half-century.

Australia whittled away at the seven wickets needed, first with spin and then with pace, but another stunning knock from Chloe Tryon (64 off 153) propelled the Proteas’ total past 200 and the day into a third session. Fittingly, double centurion Annabel Sutherland (2-11) and hometown icon King (1-15) got the three wickets required shortly after tea, dismissing South Africa for 215.

Australia won the multi-format series 12-4, including two ODIs and two T20Is. Australia had been in an unbeatable position since scoring a world-record 9-575 in their first innings, but the much-improved Proteas made it difficult. Tucker and the Brits resumed on 27 and 18 no, respectively, with visitors coming in 3-67, behind Australia by 432.

The Proteas pair, who had joined their squad in various forms at 3-13, dug in and thwarted the Australian speed attack all through the morning session. Tucker, who had sliced on for a golden duck in the first innings, was rock solid as she scored her first half-century in Test cricket.

It took a superb catch from Phoebe Litchfield at slip to end a tense 96-run partnership that had lasted more than 40 overs, when she grasped a low chance after Perry nicked the edge of Brits’ bat. The umpires went upstairs to make sure she had taken it cleanly, and while the replays were fuzzy, they were enough to satisfy the television umpire that Litchfield had simply gotten her fingertips underneath the ball.

It was the lone wicket to fall before lunch, and South Africa walked off the field with 1-140, claiming victory over the tourists in a session for the first time in the tournament. South Africa’s performance improved dramatically after they were bowled out for 76 in their first innings in Perth.

After the break, the Australians switched to spin from both ends, and Sophie Molineux bowled well without being rewarded, conveying down five maidens in her 10-over spell – her first appearance in international cricket since October 2021, following a nightmare run that saw her incapacitated first by a foot stress fracture and then a snapped ACL.

The Victorian almost had a wicket just before lunch, but Healy was unable to hold onto a difficult chance off the inside edge of Tryon’s bat. Ashleigh Gardner proceeded to show why she is one of Australia’s best with the red ball, and spinners’ pressure paid off as Tucker edged the ensuing catch back to the off-spinner, bringing her 181-ball innings to a close on 64.

Gardner scored a second over later with a stunning ball that hit the outside edge of Nadine de Klerk’s bat and soared to Sutherland at slip. Darcie Brown dismissed Sinalo Jafta (9), but Tryon held on stubbornly. Tryon, well known for her blazing T20 hitting, was the epitome of tenacity as she scored her first Test fifty off 124 deliveries.

However, her chances of a breakthrough Test century were crushed when Sutherland knocked over stumps immediately after the restart. The 22-year-old Victorian’s dream Test continued when she caught Nonkululeko Mlaba (15) behind shortly after before King closed up things.

The Aussies will now go their separate ways, with ten of the 14-player Test squad scheduled for a trip to India early next week for the WPL (Women’s Premier League). Healy will captain UP Warriorz once more, alongside her deputy Tahlia McGrath and T20 star Grace Harris.

Victorian trio Perry, Molineux, and Georgia Wareham will play for Royal Challengers Bangalore, while Gardner, Litchfield, and Beth Mooney will join Gujarat Giants alongside Proteas skipper Laura Wolvaard. Jess Jonassen, who was previously sent back to Brisbane after missing Test selection, will join Sutherland and former skipper Meg Lanning at Delhi Capitals.

Kim Garth and King were not selected in the auction, but they will play in the three-day Australia ‘A’ red-ball competition in Adelaide early next month partnering with Brown, while Megan Schutt will have a well-deserved rest after dropping out of the WPL auction. Australia’s next assignment is a three-ODI, three-T20 trip to Bangladesh, which will begin just days after the WPL Final.

Brief Scores: Australia vs South Africa One-off Test Day 3

South Africa 76 (Darcie Brown 5-25, Annabel Sutherland 3-19) & 215 (Delmi Tucker 64, Chloe Tyron 64; Annabel Sutherland 2-11, Ashleigh Gardner 2-29, Darcie Brown 2-47, Kim Garth 2-55) lost to Australia 575/9 decl. (Annabel Sutherland 210, Alyssa Healy 99, Beth Mooney 78; Chloe Tyron 3-81, Masabata Klaas 3-85) by an innings and 284 runs.

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