Australia 149 for 2 (Mooney 72*, Healy 46) beat South Africa 147 for 6 (Brits 59*) by eight wickets
The wicketkeeper-batter was in doubt for the clash at Manuka Oval after suffering from an illness, but proved her fitness and then carved a match-winning 46 as the hosts sealed victory with five balls and eight wickets to spare.
Healy looked in brilliant touch from the moment she took to the crease and quickly broke the back of the chase, smacking two sixes and six fours in her 46 off 28 balls.
An audacious flick over midwicket to cart South African bowler Marizanne Kapp for four was probably the shot of the innings, although a massive six hit straight back over Nonkululeko Mlaba’s head also caught the eye.
By the time Healy fell chipping Nadine de Klerk to long-on, Australia were virtually home, with Mooney and Tahlia McGrath, who found scoring hard work, steering them to victory in the final over, while never being in any danger of losing.
The partnership between the ICC’s world No.1 and No.2 batters added 65 runs, Mooney playing some masterful strokes in finding 11 fours and a huge six that completed the result.
It wasn’t the start South Africa were looking for in their multi-format series with Australia, with the sides slated for three T20Is, three ODIs and a Test match across the next month.
Brits got bogged down early and could hardly find a run, but came to life in the innings’ middle stages after Grace Harris’s foot touched the boundary rope while trying to complete what would have been a stunning catch.
She took that second chance and ran with it, hitting two sixes and six fours while carrying her bat through the innings as the backbone of South Africa’s batting.
Sune Luus worked well with Brits and hoicked Georgia Wareham for consecutive fours through cow-corner. However, she fell on the very next ball, Healy taking a crafty leg-side catch behind the stumps.
Canberra will host the second T20I on Sunday morning, before the series shifts to Hobart on Tuesday.