14/04/2024
Annabel Sutherland. Picture: Bahnfrend/Wikimedia Commons

Annabel Sutherland. Picture: Bahnfrend/Wikimedia Commons

Annabel Sutherland has produced an outstanding innings against South Africa, in their one-off Test match. Her marathon five-hour innings helped Australia get a stranglehold on the match, declaring 9/575 with a whopping 1st innings lead of 499 runs.

Her incredible innings eventually ended on 210, just three runs short of the highest Test score by an Australian woman, with that record held by Ellyse Perry. Until being dismissed Sutherland barely gave a chance to the South Africans, playing an array of wonderful shots at will throughout her innings.

She scored with such ease that her double century was brought up in just 248 deliveries, with a handsome straight drive that sailed over the rope bringing the milestone. It was also the fastest double hundred ever in women’s Test cricket.

At only 22 years of age, Sutherland has already achieved so much. The all-rounder has captained for the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL several times in the past few years, while scoring one ODI hundred and now two Test centuries in her short career.

On a day where her brother Will took five wickets for Victoria in their Sheffield shield match, it was significantly overshadowed by his younger sister, as family and friends watched on with pride in the WACA stands. During her young career, “Bellsy” has shown a strong ability to dominate with both bat and ball in all forms of the game.

After play Sutherland said it was just wonderful to be out there batting and that the feat of scoring a double century was hard to believe.

“Yeah it’s pretty special, [it] probably hasn’t quite sunk in yet, [and] what exactly it means to me, but it’s so nice just to spend the day out there and soak up what a great place it is to bat out on the WACA.”

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Sutherland said she had her mind on the declaration before smacking a six to bring up her double hundred, just minutes before the tea break.

“It was probably more the timing, more than anything of it. Just before tea I was pretty keen to get it over with, wasn’t quite sure what was happening with the declaration, so I was keen to get it out of the way,” she said.

“[I] Played a dodgy shot, tried to hoick one over mid-wicket, play and miss and the crowd sort of “ood”, so I had to take a bit of a breath. Kimmy (Kim Garth) was keeping me going at the other end too so it was very nice to get it done then.”

In scoring 200, the Victorian broke all sorts of records before falling just short of the highest Test score from an Australian woman, but didn’t mind leaving that record to Ellyse Perry.

“They (South Africa) kept toiling away and kept bowling in good areas, so [I] had to keep switching on and off and [had] no idea what was going on with the records or anything,” she said.

“[I’m] very happy for her to keep that record, she deserves it. I didn’t know that (about the record) but she’s an incredible player and an even better person, and just the amount of time she spends with the young girls coming through is a testament to that ultimate team first player.”

The moment was made most special by having her family there watching on in the crowd.

“[I] just gave them a hug before, I think they were just super proud and it’s so nice for them to be here and watch the game. It’s pretty cool to have them here,” she said.

Australia would later make their way to a crushing victory over South Africa, winning by an innings and 284 runs. Sutherland was named as Player of the Match and also became the first women’s player ever to score a double hundred and take five wickets in the Test format.

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