Masabata Klaas Stands Up for SA on Day 1 of Only Test Match vs Australia

Masabata Klaas wreaked havoc at the start of the Australian batting innings, taking three wickets in the space of three overs to rip the heart out of Australia’s top-order. Earlier, the host nation started the day on the front foot, bowling SA out for 76 just after lunch on Day 1, and after Klaas’ early wickets haul, settled in to bat, ending the day on 251/5, with a lead of 175 runs. Day two’s action continues overnight, from the very hot WACA Stadium in Perth. Photo: Cricket SA on X

A remarkable five wicket haul from Darcie Brown and a sensational batting display from Alyssa Healy see Australia take a 175-run lead at Stumps at the end of day one, in the four-day Test match being played at Western Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth, Western Australia on Thursday 15 February. 

Marizanne Kapp was ruled out of the historic match due to illness and this made way for four plays to make their debut for South Africa, in the form of Tazmin Brits, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Delmi Tucker and Ayanda Hlubi. 

Alyssa Healy winning the toss on a scorcher of a morning, elected to have a bowl first, a toss that boded well for the hosts. The Proteas with very little experience in the longer format of the game, tried their best to stand their ground during their innings, but the experience of the Australian side proved too much for them. 

“I watched the Australian bowlers during our innings and I knew that the wicket was doing something, so I went in to bowl with a positive mind set, and did what I needed to do, and it worked for me.”

Proteas Women Opening Bowler, Masabata Klaas

Proteas openers Laura Wolvaardt and Anneke Bosch, lost their wickets early on as the destructive Darcie Brown left the visitors reeling on 7/2 after just four overs. Suné Luus (26) and Tazmin Brits (5) put on a well fought 28-run partnership before Brits was trapped LBW off the bowling of Annabel Sutherland. 

It was literally a domino effect of the Australian bowling cartel from there on in, as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals. 

At the end of session one, Proteas were on 55/8 with Darcie Brown and Tahlia McGrath taking three wickets each and Annabel Sutherland with two to her name. Brown was raring to go after lunch, and she rounded up the last two wickets of Nonkululeko Mlaba (6) and Ayanda Hlubi (5) to bowl out the visitors for 76 in the 32nd over, and claim her maiden Test five-wicket haul, for 21 runs. 

With their tails up, Australia sent in the daunting opening pair of Beth Mooney with Phoebe Litchfield, as the hosts got set to chase down the runs and set up a considerable lead. 

South Africa opening bowler Masabata Klaas had other ideas though, and she took the wickets of Phoebe Litchfield, Ellyse Perry and Tahlia McGrath for just 4 runs, in her first spell. With the hosts on 12/3 after the fifth over, the Proteas were back in the game. 

Beth Mooney and Captain Alyssa Healy were not giving up that easily, and fight they did. They slowly ticked away at the scoreboard, putting on a sensational 155-run partnership before Beth Mooney was dismissed for (78) off the bowling of Nadine de Klerk. Australia was on 167/4 when Annabel Sutherland provided a supportive role to Healy. 

Healy was seeking what would have been a breathtaking century, but after a brilliant 88-run fifth wicket partnership between the talented Australian cricketer and Sutherland, Healy fell 1 run short of her milestone, when she was caught and bowled by Delmi Tucker for 99. 

Australia ended day one on 251/5 with a lead of 175-runs, Sutherland will resume play on 54* with Ash Gardner on 0* when Day 2’s action gets underway. 

Masabata Klaas was the most destructive Proteas bowler with figures of 3/39, and she was well supported in arduous conditions against a talented and motivated home batting outfit by Nadine de Klerk and Delmi Tucker, who each took one a piece. 

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Masabata Klaas, commented that there is lots of positives to take from day one. “I watched the Australian bowlers during our innings and I knew that the wicket was doing something, so I went in to bowl with a positive mind set and did what I needed to do and it worked for me.”

She reflected that the team will need to go back and take stock of today, and see where and how they can improve and be ready for the remainder of the match. 

Speaking on Tucker gaining the wicket of Healy, “It was exciting, but unfortunate for Healy, as she was on 99. She was on the field for so long, and we needed to get her out. Unfortunately, it happened when she was on 99, so it was in favour of our team.”

“Mooney and Healy battered well. Obviously, our batters saw that the longer you stay in, the more runs you are likely to get.”

“Breaking the partnerships of Mooney/Healy and Healy/Sutherland, it shows that if we stay patient, we can achieve what we want. Tomorrow, we need five more wickets, so we know what we need to do.”

After a good night’s rest, will it be a rejuvenated Proteas bowling unit or a Australian batting master class that lights up the first session when play resumes on day two at 05h00 (SAST), broadcast live on SuperSport Channel 212.


Photo Caption: Masabata Klaas wreaked havoc at the start of the Australian batting innings, taking three wickets in the space of three overs to rip the heart out of Australia’s top-order. Earlier, the host nation started the day on the front foot, bowling SA out for 76 just after lunch on Day 1, and after Klaas’ early wickets haul, settled in to bat, ending the day on 251/5, with a lead of 175 runs. Day two’s action continues overnight, at the very hot WACA Stadium in Perth. 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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