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1st Women's One-day, South Africa v Australia
Dianne van Dulken - 5 February 1999
There are times when you are forcibly reminded that South Africa have
had a women's competition running for less than five years, and the
series against Australia was unfortunately one of those times. Not so
much because they were outclassed by the World number ones, but
because, when the going got tough, they simply gave up.
This despite a promising start to the series. Having won the toss, and
sent Australia in to bat, they had restricted Australia to less than
four runs an over when a direct hit ran out Belinda Clark on the last
ball of the 14th over. This is no mean feat when the batters in
question were Clark and Lisa Keightley, and was achieved through tight
bowling by Cindy Eksteen especially, and enthusiastic fielding. When
Eksteen capitalized on this by removing Karen Rolton for a duck edged
for a simple take behind three balls later, it seemed that we had an
exciting series ahead of us.
Unfortunately, this initial enthusiasm did not last. South Africa
became, frankly, appalling in the field. There were at least three
dropped catches, all three not only takable, but easy. Throws at the
stump went wide, allowing the Australians to take easy singles as
Keightley drove her way to an elegant 83 (22 runs more than she ought
to have achieved). The Australians ran their way to 8/199, despite the
heavy outfield allowing only one boundary for the entire innings.
Helen Davies was the bowler with all the wickets, taking 4/23 in the
four overs she bowled.
In heavy contrast to this, Australia made, by my count, one mistake in
the field their entire innings. This was in the 24th over, when Jodie
Dannatt dropped Denise Reid, who was the only batter to make an
impression for South Africa in this match. When she was run out by a
direct hit two overs later, all the spirit left with her. South Africa
were at that time 6/71, with Reid having made 48. The South African
tail played out the remaining 25 overs with blocks and gentle pushes,
limping their way to 9/107.
Catherine Fitzpatrick again showed why she is considered the best
bowler in the world, taking 2/9 off her 10 overs (she was on a
hattrick with them). while Charmaine Mason (2/22 off 9) and Karen
Rolton (1/5 off 5) gave her good support.