Villani's fireworks help Australia A go 1-0 up against India A

Priya Nagi
New Update
Villani's fireworks help Australia A go 1-0 up against India A

Elyse Villani’s (L) added an unbeaten 68 with Sammy-Jo Johnson to finish a quick win against India A. © Getty Images

If Molly Strano is pushing her case for national selection, Elyse Villani is not far behind!

Villani's unbeaten knock of 62 off just 36 balls coupled with two wickets picked up by Strano helped Australia A beat India A by nine wickets in the opening T20 at Bill Pippen Oval, Gold Coast on Thursday.

Chasing a mere 113, Villani settled in no time and hammered India A bowlers, including snatching 20 runs off Tanuja Kanwar in the second over. In the fifth over, Mansi Joshi pulled one back and got Tahlia McGrath caught behind cheaply for two. But that brought another hitter, Sammy-Jo Johnson, in the middle.

Johnson, too, started her fireworks and punished India A bowlers with five boundaries and three maximums with an intention to wrap up the chase early. Meanwhile, Villani with seven fours and three sixes got to her fifty in just 30 balls.

With India A bowlers clueless throughout the innings, Johnson (48*) smashed a maximum off Devika Vaidya over long on and comprehensively took Australia A home.

Earlier put in to bat, India A suffered a wobble inside the power play overs. Strano, in her first over, cleaned up opener Yastika Bhatia (5) and in the next over Belinda Vakarewa dismissed Priya Punia (5). Strano returned and bowled skipper Veda Krishnamurthy (1), reducing India A to 25/3. The visitors lost two more wickets without adding a single run.

Shafali Verma then mistimed the ball off Annabel Sutherland in the air to mid off where McGrath completed an easy catch. Disappointed with her shot, Verma sat with her head down before leaving to join her teammates in the dugout. Vaidya then was run out, wandering out of her crease for a non-existent run after Hemalata pushed one towards mid-wicket.

Hemlata and Nuzhat Parween rebuilt the innings with 20 and 43, respectively, to take the side to a respectable total. Towards the end, India A again collapsed and were restricted to 112 for the loss of nine wickets.

Brief scores: India A 112/9 in 20 overs (Nuzhat Parween 43; Molly Strano 2-17, Tahlia McGrath 2-23) lost to Australia A 117/1 in 11.1 overs (Elyse Villani 62*, Sammy-Jo Johnson 48*; Mansi Joshi 1-18) by nine wickets. PoTM: Elyse Villani