Australia captain Meg Lanning has produced a rapid half-century in just her second innings since returning from a shoulder injury as her team cruised to another big warm-up win against an India A XI in Mumbai.
With the tourists needing 171 for victory in their second practice match at the BKC Ground following another strong performance in the field, Lanning opened alongside Alyssa Healy as she sought valuable time in the middle following her seven-month recovery from shoulder surgery.
The 26-year-old was dismissed for one after a rusty 10-ball innings in Tuesday’s first warm-up game, her first competitive innings since going under the knife, and she looked scratchy again early on Thursday, surviving a loud lbw shout early on and edging her way to 22 from her first 31 deliveries.
But when she clicked, it was the Lanning of old who began punishing the inexperienced India A attack, with one huge maximum down the ground into the grandstand.
From a score of 35 off 41 balls, she hit four consecutive boundaries to bring up her half-century from just 45 deliveries, before retiring on 63 off 55 having found the boundary nine times and clearing it once.
Thursday’s match – which Australia won by seven wickets, with Healy the sole batter to fall while Lanning and Ellyse Perry retired - provided the Southern Stars’ batters with another handy workout.
Healy struck a run-a-ball 31 that featured seven boundaries, while Perry’s positive start to the tour continued as she retired on 39 (37).
Rachael Haynes (21no) and Elyse Villani (14no) were also given opportunities as Australia reached their target of 171 at the end of the 26th over.
Earlier, Australia elected to give their bowlers a workout first following Tuesday’s 321-run victory over the same India A side.
Megan Schutt and Belinda Vakarewa struck early blows before a 78-run stand between India A captain Anuja Patil and Dayalan Hemalatha briefly frustrated the tourists.
But when the breakthrough came the wickets tumbled, India A losing 8-50 to be all out for 170.
Amanda-Jane Wellington was the best rewarded of the Australian attack, finishing with 3-30 from her 5.2 overs, while Ashleigh Gardner (2-32 off eight) was the other multiple wicket taker.
Vakarewa, Nicola Carey and Sophie Molineux were all impressive, leaving selectors plenty to ponder with the trio all vying to replace injured allrounder Tahlia McGrath in the ODI XI.
Australia now fly to Vadodara, where they’ll prepare for Monday’s opening one-day international against India.
Cricket.com.au will provide news, scores, highlights and behind-the-scenes coverage from on the ground in India, while Fox Sports will broadcast all three ODIs and the T20I tri-series that will follow live.
India A innings
Tanwar b Schutt 4 (14)
Punia c Molineux b Vakarewa 22 (36)
Hemalatha run out (Jonassen) 37 (69)
A. Patil b Gardner 49 (62)
Jaffer hit wicket b Molineux 5 (10)
Choudhary c Jonassen b Gardner 2 (8)
Parween c&b Wellington 7 (27)
Asha lbw Jonassen 13 (16)
K. Patil c Lanning b Wellington 14 (19)
Kanwer not out 2 (10)
Kumari b Wellington 1 (7)
Total 170 (46.2 overs)
Perry 0-18 (6 overs)
Schutt 1-18 (6)
Gardner 2-32 (8)
Vakarewa 1-6 (3)
Wellington 3-30 (5.2)
Carey 0-25 (7)
Jonassen 1-27 (7)
Molineux 1-8 (4)
Healy c Asha b K.Patil 31 (31)
Lanning retired 63 (55)
Perry retired 39 (37)
Haynes not out 21 (21)
Villani not out 14 (13)
Total 3-171 (26 overs)
India A bowling
Kumari 0-32 (5)
K.Patil 1-21 (5)
Kanweer 0-20 (4)
A.Patil 0-32 (3)
Jaffer 0-31 (3)
Asha 0-19 (4)
Hemalatha 0-15 (2)
Australia tour of India
Australia ODI squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington
Australia T20 squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Naomi Stalenberg, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington
India ODI squad: Mithali Raj (Captain), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Sukanya Parida, Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma
England T20I squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Kate Cross, Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Katie George, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Amy Jones, Anya Shrubsole, Bryony Smith, Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson, Danni Wyatt
Warm-up match Australia beat India A by 321 runs. Report
Warm-up match Australia beat India A by seven wickets. Report
First ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara, March 12
Second ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara, March 15
Third ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara, March 18
First T20I Australia v India, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, March 22
Second T20I Australia v England, Brabourne Stadium, March 23
Third T20I India v England, Brabourne Stadium, March 25
Fourth T20I Australia v India, Brabourne Stadium, March 26
Fifth T20I Australia v England, Brabourne Stadium, March 28
Sixth T20I India v England, Brabourne Stadium, March 29
Final Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, March 31