Annabel Sutherland Double Century Propels Australia to 432-Run Lead on Day Two

Proteas Women all-rounder admitted in the post-match conference that the visitors had been schooled in Test cricket by the mighty Australian unit, but South Africa’s Nadine de Kerk stated that there were two days remaining for the South Africans to get cracking, and that her love for cricket’s form remains unaffected by the team’s difficult progress. Photo: Cricket SA on X

22-year-old Annabel Sutherland wrote herself into the history books as her double century propelled Australia to 432 run lead seat at Stumps on day two of the one-off Test match against Proteas Women, at the WACA, in Perth, on Friday, 16 February, 2024. 

With Proteas hard-pressed to get those much-needed 5 wickets of the Australian side at the start of play on day two, it was the batting master-class from the young Sutherland that propelled Australia to a record women’s Test cricket score. 

With Ash Gardner by her side, Sutherland added a sensational 115-runs to take the hosts to 366/5 and a 290-run lead at the end of the first session, playing an innings worthy of the records she broke on the day. 

“We were very confident at the start of the match that we were going to give our best effort and put up a massive fight. Unfortunately, that has not gone as planned, but there is still lots to play for.”

South African all-rounder, Nadine de Klerk

Try as hard as they did, the Proteas bowling unit could not find the breakthrough they needed, with Sutherland and Gardner running singles and punishing the bad balls. The inexperience of the Proteas was evident but it was their fighting spirit that kept them going with smiles on their faces in the most harshest of situations, in what is their biggest challenge in cricket.

The scintillating 144-run partnership between Sutherland and Gardner came to an end when Gardner (65) was trapped LBW by Nadine de Klerk in the 94th over. 

Sutherland was not done, going from strength to strength as she achieved her second Test match century, and there was no stopping her from then on. She chipped away the South African bowlers as she got ever so close to the double century that will take her into the Australian cricket record books. 

She reached 204 from 248 balls, making it the fasted in women’s test cricket history. At just 22 years and 126 days of age, it also made her youngster player after Mithali Raj to achieve such a feat.

Sophie Molineux played a brilliant supporting role to Sutherland, helping to produce a 86-run partnership for the seventh wicket, before Molineux (33) was bowled by Chloe Tryon. 

Kim Garth was next into join Sutherland at the crease before Chloe Tryon bowling a perfect length, dismissing Sutherland for a sensational 210 runs, when she was caught by Anneke Bosch in the 105th over for the second best Australian innings, behind Ellyse Perry, and the fourth-highest score in women’s Test cricket history. 

Kim Garth finished on 49* as Alana King was bowled by Tryon in the 126th over, with Australia declaring on 575/9 for a massive lead of 499 runs. Chloe Tron finished on figures of 3/81, whilst de Klerk finished with 2/96 for the Proteas. 

The woes of day one followed the Proteas top-order, as Anneke Bosch was dismissed for a duck, off the bowling of Kim Garth, in the first over the Proteas second innings. Garth got her second wicket of the day in the form of Suné Luus, and with the visitors on 9/2 in just the seventh over, one could feel the pressure of the Aussies looming over the Proteas. 

Laura Wolvaardt fell just seven balls later, which left the Proteas reeling on 13/3 in the eight over. Tazmin Brits and Delmari Tucker put on a brave fight as they blocked and ran their way to a 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket as South Africa worked their way to 67/3 at stumps on day two. 

Speaking to the media at the press conference, Nadine de Klerk commented that it is unknown territory for the team and they are trying to navigate through it all. “The Australians batted exceptionally well again today and made it really tough for us. It was always going to be hard for us but it is about us learning as much as we can. We need to take as much as we can and just try and get better every day as we go.”

“I had a much better day and it is about taking that into the next couple of days, dig deep and fight hard.”

With the team trailing by 432 runs, de Klerk expressed her thoughts on the team’s confidence levels at the close of play: “The couple of batters tonight showed if you apply yourself out there, you can have some fun and score some runs. 

“It is about every individual being tough and battle it out there. Today was not easy with being out on the park almost the entire day, but there is still two days to go and hopefully we can get cracking tomorrow morning,” said De Klerk.

“We have a pretty good team, we try and keep everyone spirits on a high on the field. When the going gets tough some players tend to go into a bubble, but we try and keep everyone in mind and with eleven players on the field, it helps as we all try and back each other as much as we can.”

Having been schooled in Test cricket over the first two days, and with not experience in this format of the game, De Klerk said that she still loves the format: “I love it, I love when the going gets tough, and the battle between bat and ball. It does get tough, but every individual player has their own opinion on that, but ja, I love Test cricket.”

It is all to play for when play resumes on day three. Is it going to be that Protea fire that sees the visitors battle out their innings to the very end or will the experience of the dominant Australians prove too much. All shall be revealed when day three starts at 05h00 (SAST) with the match broadcast live on SuperSport 212. 


Photo Caption: Proteas Women all-rounder admitted in the post-match conference that the visitors had been schooled in Test cricket by the mighty Australian unit, but South Africa’s Nadine de Kerk stated that there were two days remaining for the South Africans to get cracking, and that her love for cricket’s form remains unaffected by the team’s difficult progress. Photo: Cricket SA on X

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About the Author:

Selina Munsamy

Selina Munsamy

I am a sports enthusiast. I am newly appointed KZN Women's Cricket Manager for the 2019/2020 season. My passion lies in cricket, technically I live and breathe cricket. I am a Scorer affiliated to KZN Cricket Scorer's Association. I also coach mini cricket for Tongaat Cricket Union. Live, Laugh and Love with Sport.

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