Australia Women 230 for 8 (Perry 93*, Luus 3-52, Khaka 2-52) beat South Africa Women 226 for 5 (Luus 52, Lee 38, Perry 2-33) by two wickets
Ellyse Perry anchored a tense chase of 227 with an unbeaten 93 to help Australia beat South Africa by two wickets in the first ODI in Canberra. Perry, who walked out to bat with Australia at 39 for 2 in the 10th over, held the key for the home team throughout the innings, and succeeded in taking them across the line off the penultimate ball.
She struck six fours and two sixes in her 107-ball knock. That was after Australia's bowlers had combined to keep South Africa down to 226 for 5 at the Manuka Oval.
After Australia fell to 49 for 3, Perry began rebuilding with a 52-run, fourth-wicket stand with Alex Blackwell. South Africa hit back when legspinner Suné Luus had Blackwell caught for a 51-ball 25. Jess Jonassen got going in a hurry, slapping two fours and a six, before Luus struck again, ending her innings on 21 off 17 balls.
Wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy and Perry then shifted momentum towards Australia with a 48-run partnership. South Africa, though, chipped away and left Perry to get 32 with the lower order. Perry added 28 with Megan Schutt in an eighth-wicket stand off 20 balls, reducing Australia's target to just four off the last five balls. Schutt was stumped off the legspin of Dane van Niekerk, the South Africa captain, in the first ball of the final over, before Perry struck a boundary four balls later to seal the game. Luus finished with three wickets, but was expensive, leaking 52 runs in seven overs.
South Africa's innings was built on the back of a combined team effort. Openers Lizelle Lee and Luus got off to a start, putting on 52 at a run-a-ball. Lee was dismissed off legspinner Kristen Beams for a 29-ball 38. Luus added 67 more for the second wicket with Mignon du Preez, before she was caught behind off Perry, having top-scored with 52. Contributions from du Preez (37), Marizanne Kapp (29 not out) and Chloe Tryon (25 not out) helped South Africa add quick runs in the end overs.
Perry shone with the ball too, finishing with 2 for 33 in eight overs. Beams and Grace Harris were both economical and took a wicket apiece.