WNCL Player Focus: Sophie Molineux (Victoria)

LAST week Victoria made it two WNCL wins from as many matches against old rivals NSW when it defeated the Breakers by 60 runs. It was a dominant win from the Victorians with both bat and ball, and a large part of that was thanks to captain Sophie Molineux.

It was only her second game back after spending the last year on the sidelines with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, but with 62 runs and six wickets to her name, this was Molineux at her best, playing like she had never missed 12 months of action.

Her first involvement in the match was with the bat, opening up the batting alongside Nicole Faltum. It only took her three balls to get the runs starting to flow, and once she really got going things did not look back from there.

Molineux and Faltum went on to make a 67-run opening stance before Faltum was dismissed, then Molineux’s innings went on for almost 10 more overs before she too fell. Her dismissal came when she skied one to mid off and was caught.

Her innings contained an equal team high eight fours, and was 73 balls long so she finished with a trike rate of 84.93 for the innings. Molineux and Faltum’s good start to the innings helped propel Victoria to their huge final tally of 7/284.

Then came her star innings with ball-in-hand.

Her first wicket came in the second over of the innings, and came after the first half of the over only saw one run conceded. Then came the wicket ball, which saw Molineux trap Tahlia Wilson in front and Wilson had to go. Unfortunately the next ball could not have been much worse, conceding five wides, but she then recovered to end the over with a dot.

Molineux’s next two wickets both came in the very next over she bowled. NSW was in a bit of a scoring rut at this stage, and Molineux continued to make life difficult for the visitors.

The first ball of her second over she trapped Claire Moore in front, before clean bowling Erin Burns the very next over. Her fourth wicket came in a later bowling spell, and by this point in the game the Breakers had recovered a bit from their earlier poor start and were putting some fight into the match. However, Molineux put a stop to this when she made Maitlan Brown sky one to Rhiann O’Donnell.

Her fifth and sixth wickets came in her next over that she bowled, cleaning bowling Sammy-Jo Johnson before making Stella Campbell nick one to Faltum behind the stumps to wrap up the NSW innings.

That was not Molineux’s only involvement in the wicket taking process, taking a catch to dismiss Saskia Horley in the over in between the ones she took her fourth and fifth wickets in. She had a couple of other wicket chances during her innings but one was judged that the catcher did not have full control and the other saw the catcher not hold on to the ball long enough and drop it.

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