'Take a bow': Cricket world goes bonkers over 'superhuman' moment

Pictured left, Australia's Ash Gardner takes an unbelievable catch in the Women's Cricket World Cup game against South Africa.
Australia's Ash Gardner took an unbelievable catch in the Women's Cricket World Cup game against South Africa. Pic: Getty/AAP

Australia's Ash Gardner has sent fans into a frenzy after pulling off one of the catches of the tournament in the Women's Cricket World Cup on Tuesday.

In a heavyweight showdown between two unbeaten teams, South Africa put Australia's record under serious threat with an imposing 5-271 in their innings.

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Boosted by opener Laura Wolvaardt's superb 90, the Proteas didn't look back after being sent in by Meg Lanning at Wellington's Basin Reserve.

Late hitting from Sune Luus (52 off 51), Marizanne Kapp (30 off 21) and Chloe Tryon (17 off 9) has put the Proteas in a strong position to register their first ever ODI triumph over Australia.

The target could have been ever greater for Australia to chase if not for a superb piece of fielding by Gardner on the boundary rope.

The Aussie allrounder soared high into the sky to pluck an extraordinary one-handed catch off a huge hit from South Africa's Mignon du Preez.

Gardner's classic catch prevented what would have been a six for du Preez, who was stopped in her tracks after a solid 14 runs off 13 balls.

The moment of magic lit up social media as viewers reacted to Gardner's brilliant catch.

Proteas set Australia formidable target for victory

Already secure as semi-finalists after five straight wins, Australia was set 272-runs for a sixth straight victory and top spot in the eight-team group stage.

Lanning's side will need to repeat their heroics against India on Saturday, when they ran down 278 with three balls remaining at Eden Park.

For the first time at the tournament, Australia failed to take a wicket during the powerplay, as Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee tallied 0-41 on their way to an 88-run opening stand.

Worse for Australia, Ellyse Perry pulled up sore after three overs and left the field due to a back complaint.

Pictured right is Australia's Ellyse Perry in the Women's Cricket World Cup match against South Africa.
Australia's Ellyse Perry (right) suffered from a back complaint in the Women's Cricket World Cup match against South Africa. Pic: AAP

The Australian camp say Perry will be fine to bat if needed, though World Cup rules dictate she cannot bat higher than seven.

Without Darcie Brown, rested for the third time in the tournament with Annabel Sutherland returning, Australia were unable to cut through the top order.

Legspinner Alana King made the breakthrough in the 20th over, trapping Lee in front, though Wolvaardt continued her fine form in New Zealand.

Australia's spinners earned a temporary reprieve, denying South Africa a boundary for seven overs.

Wolvaardt kept accumulating, overtaking Rachael Haynes to be the World Cup's leading runscorer.

She formed another mighty partnership, teaming with Sune Luus who slogged her way to a half-century off 48 balls.

Wolvaardt departed with South Africa at 3-209 when she holed out off Gardner's bowling, and Luus left the following over for 52.

Gardner's superb take to remove du Preez set up a late cameo from Kapp and Tryon, who put on 43 off the last four overs to make Australia's task a formidable one.

None of the Aussie bowlers took more than a wicket, with King (1-35 off seven) the pick of the bunch.

with AAP

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