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No nerves for Aussie bowling hero Villani

AAP logoAAP 28/11/2016 Adrian Warren

She'd never bowled at international level before Sunday, but Elyse Villani wasn't worried as she delivered the final over of the tied women's cricket ODI between Australia and South Africa.

It was the first time in 57 matches for Australia across all formats her medium pace bowling had been employed.

Batter Villani ended up taking a respectable 1-37 off eight overs, but had the pressure-packed responsibility of bowling the final over.

South Africa needed eight to score their first win over Australia and Villani conceded two runs and a leg bye off the first four balls and a boundary off the fifth, which drew South Africa level.

Villani kept her cool, collecting a throw from midwicket and whipping off the bails to execute a run out.

"To be honest, I wasn't that nervous, because I cop a lot of flak in the nets anyway when I bowl against the girls," Villani said.

"I wasn't nervous, I was just like 'please God,'' I just really wanted to win."

She said going in to the match she knew she was a bowling option, but didn't expect to get so many overs and was "pumped" at getting a wicket.

"I reckon the footage probably shows that, but to be honest I didn't know if I'd ever get a bowl at international level," she said.

"To get a bowl was a bit of a dream come true and then to get a wicket I couldn't quite contain myself."

Villani's disappointment at not getting the win was shared by South African captain Dane van Niekerk, who top scored with 81 to spearhead her team's pursuit of 243 for victory.

""Like kissing your brother," was van Niekerk's reaction to the result.

It was only the second tie in 296 ODIs the Australian women's team have played in 43 years.

The previous was against England in a 60-overs-a-side World Cup match in Christchurch in February 1982.

The five-match series against South Africa, which Australia leads 3-0, concludes in Coffs Harbour on Tuesday.

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