Australia recovered from a shocking Twenty20 International defeat to South Africa, winning a tight series finale behind a magnificent 82 from Beth Mooney, who had battled illness earlier in the day and wasn’t sure if she would play.
With five wickets remaining and four balls remaining in Hobart, Australia overcame the opponents’ 162 for 7 thanks to the opener’s 55-ball effort. Before succumbing in the 18th over, when her team needed 14 runs from 14 balls, Mooney frequently lost partners. Ashleigh Gardner used her composure to use a boundary to complete the victory.
Earlier, in their 100th Twenty20 International, South Africa scored their greatest T20I total against Australia, led by a career-best 48-ball 75 from Marizanne Kapp. After defeating Australia in all formats for the first time on Sunday, South Africa forced a decisive Twenty20 match to tie the score at one.
Mooney, who finished with 11 fours and one six after hitting an undefeated 72 in the first game, hammered the ball cleanly from the start. Ellyse Perry, who was moved up to number three, and fellow opener Alyssa Healy both failed to score.
After being put to bat, Kapp assisted South Africa in rallying from a precarious 28 for 3 in the fifth over. The all-rounder and Anneke Bosch, who provided good support with 21, had an 80-run partnership from just 57 balls. Kapp was dropped on 19 in the outfield, and her score eclipsed her previous high of 56. When Tahlia McGrath sneaked a slower ball that struck the stumps in the 17th over, she was out.
Grace Harris of Australia got things started right away, making two receptions and hitting Sune Luus directly. Late in the innings, Chloe Tryon contributed a crucial 26 from 16 balls before spinner Georgia Wareham caught and bowled her.
With two fours off the next three deliveries, Nadine de Klerk finished with an undefeated 20 from 11 balls, demonstrating her own fierce late-inning swing. With 1 for 25 from four overs, Wareham was Australia’s most economical bowler; Darcie Brown, who was rested from the previous game, took some flak for his early start (0 for 27 from two overs).
Brief Scores: Australia vs South Africa 3rd T20I
South Africa 162/9 (Kapp 75; Wareham 1-25) lost to Australia 163/5 in 19.2 overs (Mooney 82; Masabata Klaas 1-13) by 5 wickets.