Brown's maiden five-wicket haul helps Australia take command of historic Perth Test

Brown's maiden five-wicket haul helps Australia take command of historic Perth Test


Australia bowled out South Africa for just 76 in the first innings

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(Web Desk) - Australia Women dominated Day 1 of their maiden Test against South Africa with a scintillating bowling display at the WACA, Perth.

Australia bowled out South Africa for just 76 in the first innings, before gaining a substantial lead by day end. Fast bowler Darcie Brown was the architect of Australia’s sizzling display with the ball, getting her maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

The pacer, who has featured in the 'ICC 100% Cricket Superstars’ series, showed top form and struck regular blows against the South Africa top, middle, and lower-order batters.

Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy helped Australia overcome early stutters. Healy was the top-scorer on the day, being dismissed one short of what would've been a brilliant maiden Test hundred. The side had a substantial lead of 175 at the end of the day's play.

After winning the toss, Australia captain Alyssa Healy elected to field and Brown set the tone by sending back the South Africa openers within the first 19 balls of play. A pinpoint bouncer accounted for Anneke Bosch (0) in Brown’s first over and South Africa skipper Laura Wolvaardt edged one towards the slips soon after.

Sune Luus’ resistance aside, the rest of the batting until fell like nine pins. Brown was the destroyer in chief, benefitting from the pitching the ball up and allowing her pace and movement to do the trick. She returned career-best figures of 5/21 as the tourists were bowled out for 76, their lowest-ever total in Women’s Tests.

Brown had discussed her turn to pace in a competitive homely environment during a 100% Cricket Superstars' shoot.

“I was quite an angry character when I was a younger girl, with two older brothers, who’d sort of gang up on me. So I’d kind of get mad and bowl as quick as I could sort of to fit in," she said.

"I probably wouldn’t be playing cricket if I was a spinner, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much.”

Brown’s only 20, but she’s already featured in Australia’s triumph in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023. Success at such a young age has come on the back of playing rigorous cricket, which has also given rise to challenges.

Brown faced one such challenge in the form of a hamstring injury, which forced her to get ruled out of the ODI series against West Indies in October last year. However, the youngster still managed to look at the positive side of the event.

“Probably the main one [challenge] was my left hamstring injury, trying to come back from that. But it was a blessing in disguise being at home, and I got some time in the gym, and there were some pretty long days, but at the end of the day, I’ve come back better and stronger.”

The youngster has thrived in the rich experience of playing for Australia, and added that while there were challenges when playing in such a competitive environment, her teammates had her back.

“Being a young player in the Australian cricket team, and being so successful for so long, there’s always doubt I think. But the team is really good at making you feel welcome and that you belong.”