Megan Schutt’s fellow team members are impressed by her impressive performance in Australia’s dominant eight-wicket victory over South Africa in the first one-day international of the series.
During Saturday’s match at Adelaide Oval, Schutt bowled five consecutive overs and took one wicket in each over. The tourists were dismissed for a total of 105 runs. Beth Mooney scored an unbeaten 52 as Australia confidently reached a score of 106 runs with two overs remaining, securing a decisive victory in the first game of the three-match ODI series.
Schutt, the sixth Australian to play 200 internationals, took the new ball, claimed a wicket on her ninth delivery, and her sole run conceded came from an inside edge. “It’s a pretty unbelievable spell,” Mooney said. “To bowl five overs and only get hit for one run in international cricket against a real quality opposition … that probably just shows the quality of bowl that Shooter has been, across an extended period of time.
“It’s probably, I’d say, the best bowling she’s done for a long time and across her career.”
Australia’s Schutt established their dominance as they bowled out South Africa in just 31.3 overs. Marizanne Kapp managed to score 50 runs, but had to leave the field due to injury after completing a second run to reach her half-century. She was hit on the left elbow by a throw.
Alana King took three wickets for 19 runs, while Kim Garth took two wickets for 12 runs. Ellyse Perry, Annabel Sutherland, and Ash Gardner each took one wicket, with Perry taking eight runs, Sutherland taking 22 runs, and Gardner taking 12 runs.
Schutt’s 261st wicket at the international level was the coveted dismissal of Laura Wolvaardt. Wolvaardt, the captain of the Proteas, is also Schutt’s teammate on the Adelaide Strikers, who are the reigning champions of the Women’s Big Bash League.
Wolvaardt gifted her friend her wicket for four, slicing a short and wide delivery to point where Georgia Wareham completed a simple catch. South Africa soon slumped to three for nine after eight overs and never recovered.
Kapp remained composed during the chaos and played an impressive innings, scoring eight boundaries in 58 balls before facing an unfortunate event. She was then taken to the hospital for scans, which showed no broken bones but rather soft tissue injury. In her absence, the visiting team lost their final four wickets, adding only 11 runs to their total.
During Australia’s attempt to chase the target, the first two batters Phoebe Litchfield (12 runs from 23 deliveries) and Alyssa Healy (19 runs from 24 deliveries) were eliminated in the first nine overs. Mooney, who hit nine boundaries in her bold 34-ball performance, and Perry (16 runs not out from 33 deliveries) then smoothly secured the win.
Mooney expressed the importance of finishing games strongly, especially in situations where the chase is not too large. She acknowledged that early wickets can create challenges for the batting order and emphasized the need to secure victories without relying on the middle and lower order too heavily.
The ODI series, consisting of three games, will continue on Wednesday and Saturday at North Sydney Oval.