Schutt stars in milestone match before Mooney leads victory charge

South Africa

Australia 106 for 2 (Mooney 50*) beat South Africa 105 (Kapp 50*, King 3-19) by eight wickets

Australian quick Megan Schutt celebrated her milestone match with a miserly spell in an eight-wicket thumping of South Africa in the series-opening ODI.
Schutt took 1-1 from five consecutive overs as the tourists were restricted to 105 at Adelaide Oval. Australia, with Beth Mooney top-scoring with an unbeaten 52, chased the runs in 19 overs to emphatically win game one of the three-match ODI series and move 6-2 up in the multi-format contest.

Schutt, the sixth Australian to play 200 internationals, took the new ball, claimed a wicket on her ninth delivery, and her sole run conceded came from an inside edge.

“It’s a pretty unbelievable spell,” Mooney said. “To bowl five overs and only get hit for one run in international cricket against a real quality opposition … that probably just shows the quality of bowl that Shooter has been, across an extended period of time. It’s probably, I’d say, the best bowling she’s done for a long time and across her career.”

Marizanne Kapp top-scored with 50, but she was forced to retire hurt. While completing a second run to reach her half-century, Kapp was struck on her left elbow by the throw although subsequent scans cleared her of any fracture.

“Scans have revealed it is a soft tissue injury on the upper left arm,” a South Africa spokesperson said.

Schutt 261st international wicket was the prized scalp of South African captain Laura Wolvaardt. She is a team-mate of Schutt in the WBBL with the title-holding Adelaide Strikers. When she was on 4, Wolvaardt gifted her friend her wicket, slicing a short and wide delivery to point, where Georgia Wareham completed a simple catch.

South Africa soon slumped to 9 for 3 after eight overs and never recovered. Kapp kept cool amid the carnage with a stellar knock, collecting eight fours from her 58 balls before misfortune literally hit.

As the allrounder safely completed her 50th run, she was struck on the elbow. Kapp was ruled out for the remainder of the game and in her absence the tourists lost their last four wickets for 11 runs.

In Australia’s run chase, openers Phoebe Litchfield and Alyssa Healy were dismissed inside nine overs. But stalwarts Mooney, who struck nine fours in her 34-ball innings, and Perry then cruised to victory.

“We always talk about finishing games well and I find those smaller run chases a little bit tricky,” Mooney said. “If you lose a few wickets early it can send a bit of a ripple effect through the batting order.

“It’s all about making sure we win those games well and don’t leave too much for the middle to lower order to do.”

The three-game ODI series continues at North Sydney Oval on Wednesday and Saturday.

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