Ellyse Perry's 150th T20 match milestone celebration has not gone to plan after Australia suffered their first ever defeat to South Africa amid crazy scenes at Manuka Oval. Australia struggled to 6-142 after their 20 overs with the batters never really getting going against a quality bowling performance from South Africa.
Beth Mooney was involved in one of the more bizarre dismissals in recent years having been dropped twice from the bowlers on 0 and 10. In the last T20, Mooney was dropped on 42 before going on to make 72 not out.
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However, Mooney was dismissed during a brilliant Masabata Klass over when Alyssa Healy played an identical drive at the bowler. Klaas reached out to catch the ball and dropped the difficult opportunity as it ricocheted off her hand.
Although this time the ball deflected into the stumps with Mooney out of her crease. Mooney was forced to walk back to the pavilion having been run out at the non-striker's end. Despite the dropped catches from the team, Klaas was the best bowler and finished with impressive figures of 2-16.
Healy and Grace Harris were the only two Aussies that appeared comfortable out in the middle of Manuka Oval. South Africa chased down the total with six balls to spare thanks to captain Laura Wolvaardt's unbeaten half-century.
South Africa defeat Australia in historic T20
Fans may have thought the multi-format series could be one-sided again after Australia's win in the first T20. However, South African's first ever win against Australia has ignited the series.
South Africa has now recorded their first victory in 24 attempts against the world champions. A tied One Day International match was the closest they had come in 2016.
Beth Mooney's luck was on a rollercoaster! Talk about a survival story turned plot twist.
— محمد سمیع (@ucancallmesamee) January 28, 2024
— Don Cricket 🏏 (@doncricket_) January 28, 2024
South Africa have never beaten Australia in a women's international but it might happen today
Marizanne Kapp gets Ellyse Perry caught at long on for 18
Australia 93/5 after 14.5 overs on a pitch that is pretty good for batting#AUSvSA https://t.co/HaGIRwgupg
— Mohit Shah (@mohit_shah17) January 28, 2024
South Africa put in such a classy bowling performance, they restricted the hosts to zero boundaries for 29 balls between the 13th and 18th overs. The visitor's then came out on a mission with Wolvaardt (58 not out) and Tazmin Brits (41) adding 75 for the first wicket.
Wolvaardt managed to steady the ship when Australia launched a comeback when they took 3-22. While South Africa recorded a historic victory, Australia will have plenty of time to bounce back and win the series. There is the T20 decider, before three One Day Internationals. The series is finished with a one-off Test match in Perth.
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