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Perry's unbeaten 93 helps Australia Women home in close encounter

Ellyse Perry scored 93 runs and picked two wickets as well
Ellyse Perry scored 93 runs and picked two wickets as well
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Australia Women 230-8 (Perry 93no) beat
South Africa Women 226-5 (Luus 52) by two wickets
First One-Day International in Canberra

Ellyse Perry held her nerve with an unbeaten 93 as she helped Australia Women chase down 227 runs in the penultimate delivery with just two wickets in hand in the first One-Day International against South Africa Women in Canberra.

South Africa started strong after winning the toss and elected to bat first with Lizelle Lee (38) and Sune Luus (52) adding a run-a-ball 52 runs.

Kristen Beams (1-31) provided Australia with the breakthrough by castling Lee but Luus went on to complete a fine half-century and also added another 67 run stand with Mignon du Preez (37).

Even though, most of the South Africa batsmen got starts, they failed to make it big apart from Luus. Dane van Niekerk (23) and Dinashe Devnarain (16) perished but Marizanne Kapp (29 not out) and Chloe Tyron (26 not out) ensured South Africa reached 226 in their 50 overs with an unbeaten 43-run stand.

Perry (2-33) was the pick of the Australian bowlers.

Australia lost Nicole Bolton (18), Elyse Villani (2) and Meg Lanning (18) inside 50 runs. Perry (93 not out) pinned Australia hopes and with support from Alex Blackwell (25), Jes Jonassen (21) and Alyssa Healy (28), the home side reached the 175-run mark in the 43rd over.

However, South Africa bounced back hard leaving Australia with 26 runs to get in last three overs following which Perry struck a six and a couple of boundaries in the 48th over to ease the pressure.

Even though, Australia lost their eighth wicket with Megan Schutt (5) dismissed, Perry stayed calm and ensured they reached home in 49.5 overs with two wickets in hand.

They now lead the five-match series 1-0.

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