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By Sports Reporter


All class from Klaas, but Proteas women’s team on back foot against Aussies

Masabata Klaas was South Africa’s leading bowler on her Test debut, claiming three wickets for 39 runs.

In a standout performance by seamer Darcie Brown, coupled with impressive half-centuries from Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy, Australia seized control on day one of the one-off Test match against the Proteas Women at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) Ground in Perth on Thursday.

Brown demonstrated her career-best form, securing figures of 5/21, contributing significantly to dismissing the tourists for 76 runs in 31.2 overs.

Mooney then delivered a stellar performance, notching up 78 runs off 109 balls (13 fours), while Healy achieved her highest Test score, amassing 99 runs off 124 balls (16 fours) as the hosts concluded the day at 251/5 after 56 overs with a lead of 175 runs.

Batting woes

All-rounder Annabel Sutherland remained unbeaten at the crease on 54* off 87 balls (7 fours, 1 six), accompanied by Ashleigh Gardner (0*) who is yet to open her account. Masabata Klaas emerged as South Africa’s leading bowler on her Test debut, claiming three wickets for 39 runs.

After being put into bat by the home side in scorching conditions in Perth, South Africa faced a challenging start as Brown swiftly dismissed openers Anneke Bosch (0) and Laura Wolvaardt (4). With the away side struggling at 5/2, Sutherland (3/19) further dealt blows, dismissing debutants Tazmin Brits (5) and Delmi Tucker (0) in the 16th over, leaving the Proteas 33/4.

The situation worsened for the visitors as Sutherland, Tahlia McGrath (2/4), and Brown combined to claim five wickets for just 24 runs to send Suné Luus (26), Nadine de Klerk (5), Sinalo Jafta (0), Chloé Tryon (5), and Nonkululeko Mlaba (6) back to the pavilion.

A resilient 19-run stand for the final wicket between Klaas (10*) and Ayanda Hlubi (5) helped the Proteas reach 76 all out in the 32nd over.

Class from Klaas

In their first innings, Australia faced early setbacks as Klaas dismissed three of the top four batters, including Phoebe Litchfield (4) in the first over as well as Ellyse Perry (3) and McGrath (0) in the fifth to leave the host nation 12/3, trailing by 64 runs.

The rebuilding partnership between Mooney and Healy, however, added a century stand worth 155 runs for the fourth wicket, propelling the home side into the lead.

The breakthrough for South Africa came through all-rounder Nadine de Klerk (1/41), who induced Mooney into a drive outside off-stump, resulting in a thick edge caught by Luus in the slips.

Despite the wicket, Healy continued her fine form, partnering with Sutherland for another half-century stand for the fifth wicket, to take Australia past the 200-run mark.

In the penultimate over of the day, Tucker (1/23) provided a moment of joy for South Africa with a brilliant caught and bowled, dismissing Healy just one run short of her first-ever Test century before Australia concluded proceedings on 251/5, holding a lead of 175 runs.

Day two is set to begin on Friday at 11am local time (5am SA time).

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