Perry snatches victory from Proteas

Australia stalwart, Ellyse Perry, showed her experience when she batted the Southern Stars to a two-wicket win over the Proteas in the first Women’s One-Day International (ODI) in Canberra on Friday.

The hosts go 1-0 up in the five-match series following a nail-biting match that went down to the last over.

Perry hit an unbeaten 93 from 107 deliveries (six 4s, two 6s) to lead her side to victory with just one ball to spare.

South Africa did well to post a competitive 226/5 at the end of their innings after electing to bat first. They got off to a flying start thanks to a 52-run opening stand between Lizelle Lee (38) and Suné Luus. When Lee lost her wicket to Kristen Beams (1/31) in the ninth over, Luus added 67 more runs for the second wicket with Mignon du Preez (37) to move South Africa past the 100-run mark. Luus reached her second ODI half-century, but could not surpass her career-best 52 runs, departing on the same score she had posted against Ireland in August of this year.

Marizanne Kapp and Dané van Niekerk also chipped in with 29 and 23 runs respectively to round off the most notable contributions of the innings.

Australia stumbled in their reply when they lost Elyse Villani for two to Ayabonga Khaka (2/52) at the end of the first over. Luus was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3/52. She broke key partnerships involving Perry with Alex Blackwell (25) and Jess Jonassen (21), but it was the 48-run, sixth-wicket stand with Alyssa Healy (28) that crept the hosts closer to victory.

The Southern Stars lost Grace Harris and Megan Shutt, both on five in the 47th and the start of the last over, but Perry held her nerve and showed her experience, powering her side to victory with a boundary to win the match.

This loss rules South Africa out of the running for the fourth place in the ICC Women’s Championship. The side will now have to take part in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 tournament in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 7-21 February in order to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

The second match will take place at the same ground on Sunday, 20 November.