India A started their campaign Down Under in grand style defeating Australia A by 16 runs in the first one-day match at Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Thursday (December 12). India A’s win was orchestrated by twin centuries from teenage sensation Shafali Verma and skipper Veda Krishnamurthy.
Having elected to field, Australia A’s bowlers started well, removing Priya Punia and Dayalan Hemalatha early – Belinda Vakarewa and Molly Strano accounting for the wickets. Those seven overs, however, were the only period during which the hosts had the upper hand.
After that, it was one-way traffic with Shafali and Krishnamurthy dominating proceedings. First, the 15-year-old did the bulk of the scoring in a fourth-wicket stand of 119 runs. She tonked the Australia A bowlers to all parts of the ground collecting 19 fours and four sixes in her 78-ball knock. She was especially harsh on Amanda-Jade Wellington clobbering her for 30 runs off just 17 balls. She brought up her hundred in just 63 balls and was threatening to take the game away from Australia A. Luckily for the hosts, she mis-timed another heave off Strano and was caught at long-on by Annabel Sutherland.
After her departure, Krishnamurthy took center stage. The India A skipper brought up her own century and eventually pushed her team past the 300-run mark. The skipper maturely anchored the innings, holding together the lower-middle order before kicking on. She eventually departed for a 99-ball 113. India A managed a total of 312 for 9 in their 50 overs – quite firmly in the drivers’ seat at the halfway point.
For Australia Tahlia McGrath was the pick of the bowlers picking up three wickets. She was well supported by Vakarewa and Heather Graham who picked up two each.
Australia A’s chase got off to a rocky start when they lost Georgia Redmayne and Bridget Patterson inside the first 10 overs. The duo of Graham and McGrath slowly started to rebuild the innings – the latter taking the more attacking role, while Graham played second fiddle.
Just when things were ticking along nicely for the home team a wicket came out of nowhere when Graham was dismissed for 27 by Tanuja Kanwer. The wicket though did not affect McGrath’s rhythm at all. The right-hander shifted gears, taking the Indian bowlers to the cleaners, before she came in sight of her century.
Enter Devika Vaidya.
The India leg-spinner turned the match firmly in India A’s favour, snaffling the big wicket of McGrath fro 97, before also seeing the back of Erin Burns, Wellington and Maitlan Brown.
Sutherland tried her best with a fighting half-century, but it was not enough as Australia A collapsed from 185 for 4 to 232 for 7. Molly Strano tried to limit the margin of defeat with an unbeaten knock of 32, but Australia A stuttered to a total of 296 for 9 – 16 runs short of their target.
Brief Scores: India A 312/9 in 50 overs (Shefali Verma 124, Veda Krishnamurthy 113; Tahlia McGrath 3-48, Belinda Vakarewa 2-50) beat Australia A 296/9 in 50 overs (Tahlia McGrath 97, Annabel Sutherland 52; Devika Vaidya 4-55, Dayalan Hemalatha 2-31) by 16 runs.