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Gardner's half-century boosts Australian Test record reply

Andrew Mathieson -

It will be one of the few times that Ash Gardner's Test match contribution could be almost lost to the history books.

The Muruwari woman scored 65 runs off 130 balls including nine fours as Australia reached a national Test record of 9 declared for 575 prior to tea break on day two in the one-off Test in Perth.

The mammoth score came in reply to South Africa being bowled out for a paltry 76 after lunch on day one.

After the offspinner didn't bowl amid a rampant pace attack led by Darcie Brown (5-21), Gardner was pushed down the order to No.7 after the hosts amazingly fell to 3-12 ahead of stumps on Thursday.

She shared a standout 134-run sixth-wicket stand with Annabel Sutherland, whose 210 off 256 balls was just 32 runs short of the highest ever women's Test score.

New Test skipper Alyssa Healy revived Australia's hopes when she came to the wicket late on day one to finish the next day with a career Test high 99 off 124 deliveries.

The match continues at the WACA Ground.

More to come.

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