Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy make cricket history in T20 series win over South Africa

The Aussies achieved some special history in the deciding match of the T20 series.

Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney.

Another brilliant knock from Beth Mooney led Australia to victory in the third T20 against South Africa on Tuesday night amid a number of historic feats for the Aussies. Mooney has sick all day with an upset stomach, but still managed to star in the five-wicket victory at Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

The opener peeled off 82 from just 55 balls as the Aussies chased down South Africa's total of 7-162 with four balls to spare. Mooney, who also hit an unbeaten 72 in the opening game of the series, finished with 11 fours and one six on Tuesday night as Australia claimed the series 2-1.

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In doing so she moved into outright second on the list of most 50-plus scores in women's T20 internationals. Mooney now has 24 scores of 50 or more in T20Is, just four behind Suzie Bates' all-time record of 28.

Incredibly, Mooney's 24 have come in just 89 innings, while Bates took 149 innings for her 28. Indian batter Smriti Mandhana took 124 innings to get 23 (third on the list). Mooney's knock of 82 on Tuesday night was also the fifth-highest score for Australia in a run chase in a women's T20 international.

Karen Rolton holds the record with 96 against England in 2005, while Tahlia McGrath made 91 not out against the Poms in 2022. Mooney makes up the next three spots on the list, with 89 not out against India in 2022, 86 not out against England in 2017, and her 82 on Tuesday night.

Alyssa Healy, who only made 10 on Tuesday night, also made some impressive history nonetheless. The new Aussie captain became just the fourth Australian woman to score 6000 runs in international cricket, joining Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Rolton.

Lanning, who recently retired from international cricket, heads up the list with 8352 runs for Australia across all formats (in 241 games). Perry had 6618 as of Tuesday night (304 games), while Rolton made 6221 throughout her career in just 170 matches. As of Tuesday night, Healy had 6007 runs in 265 matches.

Beth Mooney rises from sick bed to lead Australia to victory

Mooney's match-winning knock came after South Africa had posted their highest score in a T20 against Australia, headlined by a career-best 75 from 48 balls from Marizanne Kapp. South Africa forced a live decider in the T20 series after notching their first-ever win over Australia in any format of women's cricket on Sunday to level the ledger at 1-1.

The three T20s games make up part of a multi-format series, which also includes three ODIs and one Test match to follow. Healy later revealed that Mooney had been a touch "under the weather" and could have missed the game.

Beth Mooney.
Beth Mooney in action for Australia against South Africa in the third T20. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

"All I've heard is maybe a dodgy sashimi," Healy said. "I messaged her in the afternoon at about one o'clock and said 'are you alright?'. She sent me back a selfie of her lying in bed saying 'I think I need some fresh air'.

"There was a real possibility she wouldn't play. She got to the ground, had a good warm-up and felt like she could contribute."

Kapp praised her team's performance despite the loss. "(After the poor start) if you look at years ago we probably would have been bowled out for 80-100," she said. "The way we've been fighting with bat and ball is so good to see and we can only get stronger as a team."

with AAP

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