Only Test, Perth, February 15 - 17, 2024, South Africa Women tour of Australia

AUS Women won by an innings and 284 runs

Player Of The Match
3/19, 210 & 2/11
Player Of The Series
78 runs

Gardner, Sutherland crack South Africa's resistance to secure huge innings win

Delmi Tucker and Chloe Tryon made battling half-centuries to ensure the home side had to work hard

Annabel Sutherland capped a stunning all-round display with more wickets  •  Getty Images and Cricket Australia

Annabel Sutherland capped a stunning all-round display with more wickets  •  Getty Images and Cricket Australia

Australia 575 for 9 dec (Sutherland 210, Healy 99, Mooney 78, Gardner 65) beat South Africa 76 (Brown 5-21) and 215 (Tucker 64, Tryon 64) by an innings and 284 runs
Australia's versatile and talented attack overcame a resolute South Africa mustering belated fight to complete a comprehensive Test victory at the WACA late on day three.
Having been pushed in tight T20I and ODI series victories, Australia's experience in red-ball cricket came to the fore as they clinched the inaugural multi-series between the teams 12-4.
Australia's attack were made to work against gritty batting on a surface that flattened out as the match wore on, but their bowling depth shone with six bowlers taking wickets in South Africa's second innings of 215.
Captain Alyssa Healy was forced to unfurl her deep attack with eight bowlers used, including allrounder Annabel Sutherland who finished with five wickets for the match to go along with her historic double century.
Debutant Delmi Tucker and Chloe Tryon helped stretch the match longer than expected with maiden Test half-centuries as South Africa salvaged some respectability after a torrid initiation into Test cricket against Australia.
Tucker, Tryon and debutant Tazmin Brits faced more than 100 deliveries each as South Africa lasted 97.2 overs in a considerable improvement on their meek first innings of 31.2 overs.
After being routed for 76 on day one, their lowest ever Test score, South Africa had been in danger of humiliatingly losing within two days when they crashed to 13 for 3.
South Africa resumed their second innings at 67 for 3 with Brits and Tucker hoping to continue their rearguard after defying Australia late on day two with a half-century stand.
In warm conditions, Brits looked tentative as Australia's seamers targeted a dangerous length outside off-stump. Darcie Brown's extra pace proved a handful and she was unlucky not to take a wicket when Brits edged just in front of second slip.
She also had Tucker top-edging over wicketkeeper Healy, but the batters settled on a sun-baked surface offering little movement. They put away rare loose deliveries and were untroubled by short deliveries coming off the wicket relatively slowly compared to earlier in the match.
Tucker had a couple of anxious moments as she neared her half-century, including miss-hitting a pull shot off Ellyse Perry that narrowly was out of reach of Alana King running back from square leg.
But Tucker regained her composure and notched her half-century on the very next delivery. Healy resisted using her three frontline spinners and she was rewarded with her faith in the seamers when Perry ended the 96-run partnership after Brits edged low to second slip where replays confirmed that Phoebe Litchfield had her fingers under the ball.
But Australia were again made to wait as Tryon showcased a mix of power and finesse to continually hit through the off-side as Healy finally reverted to spin.
It almost paid off immediately when Sophie Molineux, playing her first international since late 2021, had Tryon inside edging onto her pad only for Healy to drop a tough chance moments before lunch.
Ashleigh Gardner and King, who received warm applause on her home ground when she entered the attack in the 42nd over of the day's play, bowled well in tandem after lunch and found turn and bounce. They shackled Tryon with four fielders around the bat as runs crawled to a halt.
The pressure built on Tucker, who was undone by extra bounce as she chipped a return catch that was well taken by Gardner. She trudged off in disappointment, but earned a strong ovation from the crowd after making 64 off 180 balls in four hours at the crease.
King was denied a first wicket of the match when Mooney dropped a straightforward catch at slip to reprieve Tryon, who capitalised to notch her half-century soon after.
But an Australia victory was always just a matter of time as Sutherland capped a memorable match by clean bowling Tryon with hometown hero King claiming the final wicket to punctuate Test cricket's return to the WACA.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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