Australian women’s cricket team’s perfect response to critics in ODI win vs South Africa

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Not even Sydney’s fickle weather could stop Australia’s women from exacting revenge on South Africa, with the world champions overcoming a significant rain delay to win the third ODI by 110 runs under the DLS method just days after they were humbled at North Sydney Oval.

The Aussies looked set to register a comprehensive victory that would have silenced their critics before a sparkling Saturday afternoon was replaced by another summer deluge with the hosts closing in on a thumping win.

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Having posted 9/277 in their first innings, the Aussies had the visitors on the ropes at 4/63 after 14 overs before the heavens opened even though one half of the sky was cloudless on a day not a drop of rain was predicted.

Heavy rain settled in at North Sydney Oval for the next two hours, with the match still six overs short of a result being possible.

But the showers cleared with the visitors chasing a revised 238 off 31 overs which was always going to be too tough, with Australia clinching the ODI series 2-1 and opening up an 8-4 lead in the multi-format series ahead of next week’s lone Test.

With four points up for grabs, Australia only has to avoid defeat to seal the series win.

GAP WIDENS

The rest of the world thinks the gap is closing, but Australia’s big guns showed they are still the best team on the planet as they bounced back from Wednesday’s historic loss in style.

It’s a reminder to the chasing pack that the world champions are still a class above the rest after their aura was questioned on Wednesday night following a comprehensive defeat in Sydney.

Skipper Alyssa Healy brushed off the scepticism and led from the front with a fluent 60 in an innings which was anchored by Beth Mooney’s classy 82 not out.

Saturday’s swift response by Australia’s leaders also featured a swashbuckling 44 off 35 for Tahlia McGrath who blasted five boundaries in one over and then picked up two wickets in her first over, including the dangerous Marizanne Kapp for a duck.

McGrath finished with 3-23 while Alana King (4-26) ripped through the tail once play resumed and missed out on a hat-trick by the width of a five cent coin.

LUCKY 13

It might be time to get rid of the baker and rename 13 the King’s dozen after she turned the game on its head in the space of 60 bizarre seconds.

King was facing Masabata Klaas when she received a waist-high delivery in the 48th over which she whacked over the rope for six, only to swing around and smash the stumps with her bat.

Fans didn’t know where to look because the umpires then signalled a no-ball for the dangerous delivery, with King taking advantage of the free hit which she belted for another six to add 13 runs to the total off just one legal delivery.

CAUGHT AND ROLLED

They took a couple of stunning grabs in the field, but the champagne was put on ice as South Africa’s batting fell flat as they missed the chance to become just the second visiting team to win a bilateral ODI series in Australia.

Nadine de Klerk held onto a ridiculous one-handed caught and bowled to remove Georgia Wareham while Laura Wolvaardt did very well to dismiss Annabel Sutherland.

But it was another missed opportunity for the skipper who finished the series with seven runs after she was caught for three to give Kim Garth the first of her three wickets.

It’s been an encouraging series for the visitors who have picked up their first wins in the two short formats against Australia, but there’s still a considerable gap between their best and worst which will always be exposed against such a consistent team.

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