At Adelaide Oval, Australia speedster Schutt claimed 1-1 from five straight overs as the tourists were bowled out for 105. With Beth Mooney top-scoring with an undefeated 52, Australia won the first of the three-match ODI series and took a lead in the multi-format tournament with ease. Kim Garth bagged the Player of the Match award.
After a convincing T20I series win against the Proteas, the Australian skipper Alyssa Healy was up on the crease for the toss where she won the toss and chose to bowl first. Megan Schutt was already booted with the new ball in hand and the South African opening duo Tazmin Brits-Laura Wolvaardt walked down the ground valiantly to face the Australian attack.
The first over started well for both sides with just a single coming as Wolvaardt was off the mark but the third over along with South Africa saw the havoc caused by Schutt as Wolvaart had to return to the pavilion much earlier than expected. Kim Garth was next in the queue to dismiss Anneke Bosch at a golden duck.
Although Tazmin Brits and Sune Luus were trying hard to resist the raging Aussie attack, but the former had to depart in the eighth over at just off 18 balls. And here, things started to seem somewhat different as Marizanne Kapp, the new down, started hitting out of the blue and went for two boundaries in the last over of the first powerplay. South Africa stood at 17 for the loss of 3.
Luus and Kapp were keeping it simple and tried their way around to minimize the pressure built early with one boundary from each in the 11th and 12th over before Luus fell stumbled to Annabel Sutherland’s full length at just 6 off 21.
Chloe Tryon, the fresh up on the crease held her bat with much confidence to shoulder Kapp with two boundaries in the 15th over which was contemplated well by Kapp later in the 18th over with a couple of consecutive fours but Tryon couldn’t last longer than the first ball of the 19th over as Ashleigh Gardner brought another breakthrough for her side.
For the first time since the toss the match was looking to be shifting slowly towards South Africa balancing the equation with determined singles and continuous rotation of strikes between Kapp and Nadine de Klerk but that too couldn’t make it to the utmost as Kapp getting retired hurt on her 50 off just 58 balls provided South Africa a mighty blow in their already struggling inning.
Sinalo Jafta, who came in place of Kapp was just a mere thoroughfare of a golden duck off 7 balls with Alana King securing her first wicket and her second in the 30th over’s first delivery to which the fighting Nadine de Klerk succumbed to at 18 off 33 followed by Nonkululeko Mlaba’s dismissal at a duck.
And the final minutes of the inning read nothing more than a boundary from Masabata Klaas and Ayabonga Khaka’s fall on the third ball of the 32nd over with South Africa bundling at just 105 as Kapp was not fit enough to bat any more in the match. Australia needed a mere total of 106 to advance in the series with 1-0.
Alyssa Healy and Phoebe Litchfield, the lethal duo was out on the crease to chase the low score down in moments and there was Healy away with the first ball against the fences for a beautifully stroke boundary followed by her second in the third over bowled by Ayabonga Khaka. Litchfield was on her foot for the first time with a four in the fifth over.
Healy was surging up with every passing over but Australia received two minor jolts with Litchfield’s early departure in the eighth over at just 12 off 23 balls followed by that of Healy’s in the next over at 19 off 24. But little did it matter considering the Australian line-up and the required runs on board. With Ellyse Perry’s two boundaries, Australia were at 50 for 2 by the end of the powerplay.
By this time Beth Mooney joined hands with Perry to boost the run rate and close the fixture single-handedly as soon as possible and there came two back-to-back boundaries from the bat of Mooney in the 13th over followed by seven fatuously-stricken boundaries that pushed Australia past the winning score of 106 at the loss of just 2.
Brief scores: Australia vs South Africa 1st ODI
South Africa 105 in 31.3 overs (Marizanne Kapp 50; Alana King 3-19, Kim Garth 2-18) lost to Australia 106/2 in 19 overs (Beth Mooney 52*; Nadine de Klerk 1-19) by 8 wickets.