Women's Ashes ODIs

Villani, Healy star in final Ashes tune-up

Australia women undertake their last warm-up game ahead of the Ashes series-opener on Sunday

Sam Ferris at Marist College, Brisbane

20 October 2017, 07:02 PM AEST

Villani, Healy star in final Ashes tune-up

A blazing century from Elyse Villani and a rapid 71 by Alyssa Healy were the highlights in Australia's final practice match on a rare sun-drenched day in Brisbane. 

Villani was the star on Friday as the Australians melded with Cricket Australia's Under-18 Development Squad for an intra-squad match at Marist College Ashgrove ahead of Sunday's opening Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes ODI against England. 

Opening the batting for Team Gold, Villani struck 18 fours and a six before retiring on 126 from 110 balls. 

Villani was at her imposing best facing the new ball, aggressively dispatching anything loose from her Australia teammates and the youngsters testing their skills against the best in the country.

Her effort looked set to be matched by Team Green's Healy, who like Villani opened the innings as both batters hit the ball cleanly and crisply. 

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The NSW 'keeper swept with a purpose, taking down leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington (3-41) for six before the bowler had her revenge when Healy was stumped shortly after. 

Healy's 57-ball innings was the only other score beyond 50 as several batters made starts without capitalising. 

For Team Gold, Beth Mooney made 39 alongside Villani at the top, skipper Alex Blackwell compiled 40 while Ash Gardner crashed her way to 41 from 28 balls, 30 runs coming from boundaries.

Those scores, along with Villani’s hundreds, contributed to Team Gold’s total of 9-306, a score that ultimately proved too great in a match where the result was a low down on the priority list.

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In reply, Team Green’s innings was sparked by Healy but struggled once the diminutive ‘keeper-batter fell with the score on 99.

Nicole Bolton made 28 from 65 balls in her first dig then returned to the crease at eight wickets down to post 31 from 22 balls. 

Rachael Haynes’s 43-ball 38 looked assured at No.3, but Team Green’s other Australia batters – Tahlia McGrath and Jess Jonassen – could only manage three and four respectively. 

Heavy rainfall in Brisbane has played havoc with both Australia’s and England’s preparation this week – in three scheduled matches only 49.1 overs were bowled out of a maximum 300 – making today’s match in the same hot, humid conditions that are forecast for Sunday invaluable. 

The only hiccup during the day came at the first drinks break in the run chase when one of the umpires swallowed a fly, leaving assistant coach Joe Dawes to fill in at square leg while the unfortunate official attempted to evacuate the intrusive insect. 

Australia and England will have one final hit out tomorrow at Allan Border Field before squaring off a day later at the same venue for the first of three one-day internationals.

Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes

Australia squad (ODI and Test): Rachael Haynes (C), Alex Blackwell (VC), Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa (Test only), Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.

Schedule

First ODI Allan Border Field, October 22

Brisbane Charity Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust

Second ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 26

Third ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 29

Coffs Junior Cricket Association Partners: Coffs Harbour District JCA, Nambucca Bellingen JCA, and Clarence River JCA

Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12

First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17

North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation

Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19

Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21

Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT