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World Cups pins lining up for bowling Aley

23 June 2017

Laura Jolly, at Grace Road


Laura Jolly, at Grace Road


NSW quick pushes case for inclusion after snaring a four-wicket haul in Australia's final tune-up in Leicester

Sarah Aley has moved a step closer to a dream international debut, producing another excellent performance with the ball as Australia stormed to an eight-wicket win over Pakistan in their final Women's World Cup practice match on Thursday.

The bowling attack Australia will field in their opening match against the West Indies in Taunton is unlikely to be unveiled until the coin toss on Monday, but Aley did her chances of playing her maiden ODI no harm after claiming 4-16 at Grace Road.

Quick Single: Australia cap off WWC warm-ups in style

It followed her 1-37 against South Africa on Tuesday, with Aley's tight lines giving no inch to the Pakistan batters before she cleaned up the tail as the subcontinent team were bowled out for 156.

Should the 33-year-old NSW pace bowler be handed a long-awaited cap on Monday, she will become the third oldest Australian woman to make her ODI debut.

And, a mere 12 years after making her domestic debut for NSW, you better believe she is ready.

Australia cap off WWC warm-ups in style

"It's been a long time coming for me, but I'm just happy with being able to get out there in the place and being there in general, so if I do get the opportunity I'll be taking it with both hands," Aley said.

"(Playing these warm-up) games I haven't been nervous, I don't think I have anything to be nervous about, to be honest.

"I've been around long enough to know what my game is and hopefully it's good enough for international cricket.

"I feel like it's at a level now where it can be and if given the opportunity and the ball, hopefully I can do the same thing I did out there today."

Quick Single: Aussies itching for World Cup action

Australia's attack will be led by quicks Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt, while left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen also seems a certainty to line up against the Windies on Monday.

Off-spinner Ash Gardiner has also bowled well since arriving in the UK and is a strong chance to play, leaving one spot open for either a fast-bowling option in Aley or Belinda Vakarwewa, or one of Australia's two leg-spinners Amanda-Jade Wellington and Kristen Beams.

Watch all 10 Pakistan wickets

"For me today it was a matter of making sure I got into a good rhythm and making sure the ball was coming out well, and in the end I was lucky enough to pick up those four wickets," Aley reflected following Australia's eight-wicket win.

"Everyone is bowling really well so I don't envy the people who need to select that final XI for the first game. 

"Hopefully I've done enough, but we'll have to wait and see."

Quick Single: Women's World Cup, all you need to know

The other member of Australia's squad in line for an international debut is 19-year-old quick Vakarewa, who has entered the international fold for the first time under vastly different circumstances to Aley, just eight months after her domestic debut.

"She's taken to it like duck to water," Aley said.

"When she's given the ball, she's doing her job and doing it really well and she's an excellent fielder."

Just putting the finishing touches on: Lanning

After Australia's batters shone against South Africa on Tuesday, Aley said the bowlers were pleased with their strong performance on Thursday.

"It was a really good win, we wanted to improve on some of the areas we needed to, especially with the ball, from our previous match," Aley said.

"Everyone bowled really well today, we hit our areas, really trying to hit the stumps as much as we can, and I think we executed that really well.

"I thought Kristen Beams bowled really well, she had good control and dotted them up during the middle overs. She didn't get too many overs in the first warm-up but thing time she got into a good rhythm and hit some good areas."

Australia will head to Taunton on Saturday, ahead of their showdown with West Indies on Monday (7.30pm AEST).

Women's World Cup 2017 Guide

Australia World Cup squad: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (vc), Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

Squads: Every World Cup squad named so far

Australia's World Cup schedule

View the full tournament schedule here

Warm-up matches

June 20: Australia v South Africa, Oakham

June 22: Australia v Pakistan, Leicester


June 26: Australia v West Indies, Taunton

June 29: Sri Lanka v Australia, Bristol

July 2: Australia v New Zealand, Bristol

July 5: Pakistan v Australia, Leicester

July 9: England vAustralia, Bristol

July 12: Australia v India, Bristol

July 15: South Africa v Australia, Taunton

July 18: First semi-final, Bristol

July 20: Second semi-final, Derby

July 23: Final, Lord's

About the Writer


Laura Jolly is a writer for She previously wrote for News Corp Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.