Australia v South Africa: one-off women’s Test, day one – live | Australia women’s cricket team

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27th over: Australia 128-3 (Mooney 54, Healy 60) It’s been brutal stuff from Australia since the tea break. Twelve runs are plundered from the over as Hlubi wilts in the heat. Healy drives for four and follows up by hitting a cover drive with Swiss clock timing to take her to a highest score in Test cricket.

26th over: Australia 116-3 (Mooney 53, Healy 51) The 100 partnership comes up between Mooney and Healy and Beth Mooney goes to a half century of her own by sweeping Mlaba away for four. It’s taken 81 balls for the opener who was marooned down the non striker’s end for Klaas’ early onslaught. She’s absolute granite for her side.

25th over: Australia 110-3 (Mooney 48, Healy 50) Alyssa Healy crashes a pull shot to the fence for four and goes to a 59-ball fifty! It’s been a counterpunching masterclass from the Aussie skipper and a first Test half ton on home soil.

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24th over: Australia 105-3 (Mooney 47, Healy 46) A welcome maiden from Mlaba brings a few moments of respite for the visitors. One ball in particular fizzes and bounces to offer some signs of hope, the ball ripping past a watchful Healy’s outside edge.

23rd over: Australia 105-3 (Mooney 47, Healy 46) Beth Mooney drives a full bunger from Klaas down the ground for an easy four.All the signs are showing that it could be a punishing session for South Africa under the Western Australian sun.

22nd over: Australia 101-3 (Mooney 43, Healy 46) Beth Mooney is happy to glide along in Healy’s more aggressive slipstream. A bit of width from Mlaba allows the opener to open the face and run the ball away fine for another deft four. 100 up for Australia and the lead is opening up.

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21st over: Australia 96-3 (Mooney 38, Healy 46) Australia are truly dominating now, Healy gets on the front foot and pumps Klaas over mid on for another four. She’s approaching fifty and South Africa are in desperate need of a wicket to break this partnership.

‘Ave it!

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20th over: Australia 89-3 (Mooney 40, Healy 38) Mlaba drops short to Healy and is punished with a scything cut for four.

19th over: Australia 84-3 (Mooney 36, Healy 37) Klaas is summoned back into the attack but even she can’t stop the flow. Healy pills for three through midwicket to give the Aussies the lead. Mooney then gets in on the act with a delicious drive through the covers for four.

18th over: Australia 76-3 (Mooney 32, Healy 33) Left arm spin from Nonkululeko Mlaba to get things underway. Mooney sweeps her first ball for a couple and then slams the second ball away for the first boundary of the session, a powerful cut square of the wicket to a bit of a drag down. The scores are now level, every run from here on in will hurt South Africa that little bit more.

Here come the players for the final session of the day. There are 49 overs left in the day, we won’t get anywhere near those.

If you are out there then do drop us a line, fling an email into the OBO mailbag or whang a ditty on the binfire website formally known as Twitter.

Geoff just sent through this nice missive on Australia’s star performer with the ball today:

@GeoffLemonSport only just jumped on the Guardian blog to see this. Much as I wanted to see S Africa put on a competitive test match, let me say this. I love Darcie Brown, and only mostly because I’m a country South Australian. She’s a breath of fresh air – good on her today.

— Bernhard Sayer (@AppilaJourno) February 15, 2024

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17th over: Australia 70-3 (Mooney 26, Healy 33) Healy shows off her deft touch with a velvet handed late cut for four. She then defends the final ball of the session to see her side to the tea break with the deficit reduced to just six runs. The players trudge off under the stifling afternoon sun, the home side much the happier.

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16th over: Australia 66-3 (Mooney 26, Healy 29) This is a fantastic counterpunch by Mooney and Healy. Their fifty-partnership comes up with Beth Mooney batting well outside of her crease and turning a de Klerk length ball into a half volley – timing it through cover for another boundary. Australia made just 18 runs from the first nine overs as Klaas and Hlubi kept the pressure on but since they departed the scene it has been all Australia.

15th over: Australia 57-3 (Mooney 19, Healy 28) Three boundaries off the over for Australia! Alyssa Healy is ticking and dangerous. She cuts Bosch for four and follows it up with a drive through the covers for four more. The bowler looks a tad rattled, dropping short once more and getting plundered for another boundary by the gimlet eyed Healy.

14th over: Australia 45-3 (Mooney 19, Healy 16) Shot! de Klerk sends down a half volley and Mooney greets it with a delightfully straight blade. Four more, a flurry of boundaries since drinks. South Africa in danger of letting Australia off the hook here, their slender lead stands at only 31. More wickets needed to make this a one innings shootout.

13th over: Australia 40-3 (Mooney 15, Healy 15) Lovely! Alyssa Healy unfurls a coaching manual cover drive and holds the pose for good measure. The ball tracing away across the turf to the boundary. Australia are punching back here with the first change SA bowlers coming on and the intensity dropping off a little. Healy pulls for a couple and Beth Mooney drives uppishly to collect another brace. Ten runs off the over in total. Precious runs at this stage.

That boundary by Alyssa Healy brings up 100 runs at the WACA today (for 13 wickets)#AUSvSA

— Andrew McGlashan (@andymcg_cricket) February 15, 2024

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12th over: Australia 30-3 (Mooney 13, Healy 8) de Klerk is getting some movement in the air despite the sweltering conditions. She drops too short though and Healy pounces to slap through point for another boundary. The home side starting to tick.

11th over: Australia 23-3 (Mooney 11, Healy 3) Anneke Bosch replaces Klaas, who has 3-8 from her opening spell. Bosch and bosh! The bowler drops short and is crunched away square of the wicket by Mooney for a welcome Aussie boundary.

10th over: Australia 19-3 (Mooney 7, Healy 3) It is – as Caroline Aherne’s Fast Show weather presenter Poula Fisch would say – “Scorchio” in Perth. The mercury touching on 43 degrees. Umbrellas, ice packs and cold drinks are the order of the day during the drinks break. It’s about 7 degrees and belligerently dank here in South London, hot coffee and thick socks.

Nadine de Klerk replaces Hlubi and Mooney scampers a single into the off side. The match is on a knife edge.

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9th over: Australia 18-3 (Mooney 6, Healy 3) Mooney flashes at a drive to a ball outside off stump and connects only with the Perth breeze. Signs of frustration from the usually unflappable opener. She’s playing with her hands well away from her body at the moment, dicing with death. Time for a drink.

8th over: Australia 16-3 (Mooney 5, Healy 2) Hlubi is challenging the edge, landing it on a handkerchief on and around off stump. Mooney glides a single past point and Healy fails to get hold of a pull shot but plinks for one into the leg side.

7th over: Australia 15-3 (Mooney 5, Healy 1) Klaas has been.. class. She already has Litchfield, McGrath and Perry in her back pocket and looks very dangerous. Healy gets off the mark with a flick to leg and Mooney returns the favour with a slightly fortunate inside edge past the timbers.

James Wallace

James Wallace

6th over: Australia 12-3 (Mooney 3, Healy 0) Thanks Geoff and hello all. Well well, an exceedingly quick game is a good game? Hlubi stitches together a maiden to Beth Mooney, around the wicket and back of length. Cramping the batter and beating her outside edge too. Plenty in this WACA pitch – just the THIRTEEN wickets today in a little over a session and a half.

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Geoff Lemon

Geoff Lemon

5th over: Australia 12-3 (Mooney 3, Healy 0) The sixth ball is blocked out by the captain, but South Africa have a chance to really apply pressure from here. Outstanding reply after their dispiriting day to this point. This game is careering forward.

That’s me for the day. James Wallace will be with you for the rest.

WICKET! McGrath c Jafta b Klaas 0, Australia 12-3

First Klaas! She has 3 for 12! South Africa are in this, all of a sudden. Another beautiful delivery, floating up, swinging away, and another poor shot, McGrath driving at the ball early, having taken no lessons from the South African batting failures. Big edge, this time Jafta has to do some footwork to the off side and takes it standing almost in front of first slip. Healy wouldn’t have been expecting to bat so soon, but here comes the captain.

WICKET! Perry c Jafta b Klaas 3, Australia 12-2

MASSIVE for South Africa! The best in the business goes cheaply! Subtle swing from Klass, Perry drives and the ball kisses the edge through to the keeper. That will buoy the tourists so much.

4th over: Australia 12-1 (Mooney 3, Perry 3) First runs for Perry, driving Hlubi away nicely through point for two, then taking one down the ground.

3rd over: Australia 9-1 (Mooney 3, Perry 0) Stretching for width, driving to cover, Mooney is denied by the fielder. No run from the over.

2nd over: Australia 9-1 (Mooney 3, Perry 0) That brings Australia’s Test doyen to the crease, Ellyse Perry. She’s only 75 runs away from 1000 in women’s Test cricket, which is a serious achievement given how few they play. Mooney is on strike though, the ball swinging down leg from Hlubi. Once Mooney gets a straighter line she’s able to drive three through cover.

WICKET! Litchfield c Bosch b Klaas 4, Australia 6-1

1st over: Australia 6-1 (Mooney 0) So it’s Litchfield and Mooney to open, starting with a couple of leg byes as Klaas bowls right-arm on the line of the left-hander’s leg stump. Next ball Litchfield gets an inside edge that pops up, trying to work the ball to fine leg off the bat this time, but it lands safe. Third ball beats the outside edge, good line. Three slips, gully, point. Litchfield punches between them for four! Rides the bounce and gets the ball down to beat gully.

But not from the last ball of the over! Wide and Litchfield gets on one knee and steers the wider fuller ball straight into the cordon, third slip.

We mentioned South Africa’s women have only played 13 Tests starting in 1960, and only been bowled out 18 times on those, but today’s is the lowest score of the lot. They made 89 against New Zealand in Durban in 1972.

South Africa all out 76 in the first innings

A batting debacle for South Africa. Happy days for Australia though. Darcie Brown in her 4th Test had only three wickets before today, but has 5 for 21 now as her best figures. The plan to bowl first has worked perfectly – they can now make SA bowl two sessions in the heat, and Australia can plan to be bowling again perhaps around lunchtime tomorrow when the weather is cool.

Darcie Brown holds up the ball after her five-fer. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images

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WICKET! Hlubi b Brown 5, South Africa 76-10

Five wickets for Brown! Show of faith from Healy to keep her speedster on, and Brown gets it right. Does come a little wider I think, angles the ball in at leg stump but has shifted the starting point slightly towards the off side. So it crashes into the inside of the leg stump rather than angling down, when it beats Hlubi’s shot.

31st over: South Africa 76-9 (Klaas 10, Hlubi 5) A short straight mid off in place for Sutherland bowling to Hlubi, who defends off an inside edge to midwicket. Then runs down the ground! Drives through mid on for four. Slices her next shot, and it lands between cover and point for a run. The partnership is worth 19.

30th over: South Africa 71-9 (Klaas 10, Hlubi 0) Brown tosses the ball from hand to hand, then fires at the stumps again, and Klass gives it the same treatment! Bashed through mid on. Brown could try going wider on the crease and ramping up that angle at the stumps. Instead she bowls a beamer! Down the leg side too, to the boundary, so that’s five no balls. Handy for SA. Gets her line back though, and misses leg stump marginally after beating the outside edge of the retreating Klaas. Keeps bowling at leg stump rather than off stump, and bowls another high full toss to follow, but not quite high enough to get penalised. Expensive over.

29th over: South Africa 62-9 (Klaas 6, Hlubi 0) A whole over for Hlubi to survive, but she does so, plays a couple of shots against Sutherland too, including one that nearly carries to mid off, and another that bounces just in front of the bowler.

28th over: South Africa 62-9 (Klaas 6, Hlubi 0) Runs for Klaas! Brown tries the yorker, and it gets slammed back down the ground for four.

27th over: South Africa 58-9 (Klaas 2, Hlubi 0) Sutherland at the other end. Klaas hits a run down the ground. Hlubi sees out the rest.

26th over: South Africa 57-9 (Klaas 1, Hlubi 0) That last ball is negotiated by Ayanda Hlubi, the No11 blocking it away. The end for South Africa is nigh, but postponed.

WICKET! Mlaba c McGrath b Brown 6, South Africa 57-9

Darcie Brown with the ball after lunch. Mlaba flinches away from a short fast one, then tries a couple of front-foot swipes but misses. Brown misses the stumps by a small margin the second time. Finally Brown gets one full enough but Mlaba clunks it over mid on for two. Fifth ball, she backs away for the fifth time and smacks it straight to cover. Low catch taken, after a check upstairs to see if it was a bump ball off the bat. Straight off the toe. Brown has four wickets, and one ball in the over to try for a fifth.

We’re coming back after the sandwiches.

Lunch – Day 1, South Africa 55-8

An absolute disaster of a session for the visitors, who looked overawed by the task. Poor shots up the order, the pressure was on immediately, and aside from Sune Luus who made half of the runs calmly, nobody else was up to it. Brown was the early beneficiary, Sutherland bowled beautifully, as did Perry for no wicket. McGrath got lucky but still has 2 for 4.

25th over: South Africa 55-8 (Mlaba 4, Klaas 1) Three for Brown, three for Sutherland, two for McGrath who runs in now. It’s a pretty sloppy over though, wide either side of the stumps. No runs. And that will be lunch.

24th over: South Africa 55-8 (Mlaba 4, Klaas 1) Masabata Klass the next on the carousel, and she backs away to slap a wide ball to cover point for one. Mlaba doesn’t mind, shuffling to leg to create room, digging out a full ball past the bowler for four.

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WICKET! Tryon c Perry b Brown 5, South Africa 50-8

Another one bites the dust. Tryon is stuck in a bad position, she decides that she has to go after the bowling. Darcie Brown comes back and Tryon fancies that pace. Absolutely leathers her off-drive, but hits it in the air, and Perry at mid off has the cool to step across and intercept the Exocet.

23rd over: South Africa 50-7 (Tryon 5, Mlaba 0) We’re into the bowlers, Nonkululeko Mlaba to the middle. Leaves her first, defends her second, ends the over.

WICKET! Jafta c Healy b McGrath 0, South Africa 50-7

The procession continues. Again not a great ball from McGrath, wide and short, Jafta plays a cramped looking cut shot, footwork not right for it, and the ball tickles the toe through to the keeper. So faint that the batter doesn’t know it, so she reviews after she’s given out, but the soundwave graph has heard what she didn’t feel.

22nd over: South Africa 50-6 (Tryon 5, Jafta 0) Tryon cracks a cover drive but can’t get one for it, the cover fielder around to cut it off. Again with a shot off the back foot to backward point. Then hit on the inner thigh as she can’t get around her pad in time, marooned on the front foot. And jabs at a ball that beats the outside edge. The cordon appeal but they’re not supported by the umpire. Finally, though, she gets one away, King misfielding at backward point as the ball is cut hard at her, through the hands on the bounce. Sutherland 1 for 13 after the boundary.

21st over: South Africa 46-6 (Tryon 1, Jafta 0) There’s serious hoop for McGrath, too, who gets one moving away from the wicketkeeper Sinalo Jafta and nearly taking the edge. And again, after a ball down leg. Tryon might need to get out some shots here to try putting pressure back on Australia.

WICKET! de Klerk c Mooney b McGrath 5, South Africa 46-6

They’re falling apart. McGrath comes on, bowls a pie down the leg side that is helped way for four, then her next ball is wide and a bit short. The batter leans away and slashes at it, a one-day shot, but one-dayers don’t have three waiting in the cordon. Top edge straight at Mooney who clasps it.

20th over: South Africa 42-5 (Tryon 1, de Klerk 1) Tryon got off the mark in that over, but it brought about the wicket of Luus next ball. Nadine de Klerk is next in. Gets going quickly with a run to cover.

WICKET! Luus c Molineux b Sutherland 26, South Africa 41-5

Three for Sutherland! Now that she’s bowling, Molineux comes in to second slip, and that’s where the ball goes as Luus drives at a wide one. The only meaningful contributor to her team’s score departs after collecting 26, she hit her team’s only boundary so far today. SA in all sorts.

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