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Lanning wants Stars to fire from ball one

The Aussie skipper hopes to start the first match of the summer off in style on Friday

Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning has called on her team to hit their straps early when their one-day international series against South Africa kicks off at Manuka Oval on Friday.

Australia have just eight ODIs – these five against the Proteas and three against New Zealand next February  – standing between them and their 50-over World Cup title defence in England next June and July.

Making the most of those opportunities and building crucial momentum will be the key for the world No.1 Australians this summer, Lanning believes.

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"We don't have too many one-dayers before the World Cup next year so we need to make the most of all the games we get against good opposition," Lanning said at the series launch in Canberra on Thursday.

"We're looking forward to starting the series well and playing a good brand of cricket."

Highlights: Stars finish SL tour on a high

Australia are coming off a 4-0 ODI series whitewash against Sri Lanka, but even that dominant performance in September was not without its flaws.

The tourists lost six wickets in pursuit of Sri Lanka's 76 in the opening match, while the second game was marred by inaccurate bowling, which saw 41 of the hosts' 176 runs come from wides.

"Sri Lanka wasn't the perfect series,” Lanning conceded.

"We played some really good cricket towards end there, but it's important we start the series off better than we did in Sri Lanka and I think there's a lot of room for growth, which is great.

"We've still got nine months until the World Cup where we can nail our 50-over cricket, so it's a good chance for players to keep improving and stand up and take their chance."

Ferling feels the need for speed

Fast bowler Holly Ferling is one player particularly looking forward to building on her performances against Sri Lanka.

Having carried the drinks throughout the World T20 in India, Ferling took the new ball in Sri Lanka and relished the opportunity, taking 10 wickets at 9.9 across four matches.

However, her aggressive approach and search for express pace also resulted in issues with accuracy – including bowling 10 wides in the second match – something she is determined to amend this summer.

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"While I did get opportunities in Sri Lanka it still wasn't my best performance over there," Ferling said.

"I think all of us have set that challenge that this series is going to be much better than the Sri Lanka series, and if we do that we'll go a long way towards winning."

One concern for Australia heading into the ODI series was the fitness of allrounder Ellyse Perry, who was rested for the first three matches of the Women's National Cricket League season as she overcomes a niggling knee injury.

The 26-year-old returned to bowling in last Sunday's Governor-General's XI game in Drummoyne, taking 1-13 from her five overs, and has declared herself fit and ready for tomorrow's fixture.

"It's been fine for the last little bit and it's nice to be back bowling, I've been putting in a few overs in the nets and at the weekend I enjoyed bowling as well,” Perry said.

Batter Beth Mooney, who scored 95 for the Governor-General’s XI on Sunday, has been released from the 13-player Southern Stars squad for tomorrow’s match to line up for Queensland in the WNCL.

She will re-join Australia ahead of Sunday’s second ODI, also to be played at Manuka Oval.

Every match of the ODI series will be streamed live and free on cricket.com.au and on the Cricket Australia Live app.

Australia v South Africa ODIs


18 November: Manuka Oval, Canberra, 2.20pm AEDT*


20 November: Manuka Oval, Canberra, 2.20pm AEDT *


23 November: North Sydney Oval, Sydney, 2.20pm AEDT *


27 November: Coffs Harbour International Stadium, Coffs Harbour, 2.20pm AEDT


29 November: Coffs Harbour International Stadium, Coffs Harbour, 2.20pm AEDT


* ICC Women's Championship matches