Captain Laura Wolvaardt produced a stylish performance with the bat to help lead the Proteas Women to a landmark six-wicket T20I victory over Australia in Canberra on Sunday.
Wolvaardt paced the Proteas’ chase with an unbeaten 58 as they eased past Australia’s modest total of 142-6 with an over remaining to level the T20I portion of their multi-format series at one-win apiece.
It was South Africa’s first victory over Australia in any format and is sure to provide a boost in confidence to them ahead of this year’s Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
The Proteas reached the final of the most recent T20 World Cup when they hosted the event in 2023. They fell at the last hurdle, though, as Australia picked up their sixth title with a 19-run victory in Cape Town.
While Wolvaardt will receive the bulk of the praise for her Player of the Match winning exploits at Manuka Oval, South Africa received strong contributions from a host of their players and their bowlers impressed to restrict Australia to such a small total.
Experienced seamer Masabata Klaas (2-16) was the only multiple wicket taker for the tourists, with star pacer Marizanne Kapp (1-22) and young spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba (1-18) also bowling well to put the clamps on the home side.
Hard-hitting middle-order batter Grace Harris top-scored for Australia with an unbeaten 31*, but the top-order of the home side never really got going despite a decent knock of 29 from skipper Alyssa Healy.
Tazmin Brits (41) and Wolvaardt put on 75 for the opening wicket to put the Proteas’ run chase in control and the captain was at the crease at the end alongside Chloe Tryon to help the visitors cruise home with one over remaining.
– Edited report from ICC website
Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images