From Bairnsdale to Antigua and Barbuda, Sophie Molineux looks at home wherever she plays.
Dubbed a future star as a teenage Melbourne Renegade, when it was her batting that was attracting attention, 20-year-old Molineux is proving the seers correct.
The left-arm orthodox bowler has been hailed for her ability to mix up her pace, her spark in the field and most notably, the sense of fun she brings to the team on and off the field.
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Molineux made her international debut in India in March. A knee injury to fellow left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen opened the door and while the much-respected Jonassen is now fit and in the Caribbean, the selectors have backed the new kid.
As Australia thumped the West Indies in Friday morning’s semi-final, Molineux took the second over of the Aussie bowling innings.
She put pressure on opener Hayley Matthews, which resulted in a clever run-out from in front of the stumps by wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy.
Molineux took 1-14 from three overs, snaring the crucial wicket of the home team’s captain, Stafanie Taylor.
“A year ago, I wouldn’t even remember where I (was),” she said.
“It’s still so surreal that I’m here at a World Cup, let alone about to play in a final. I can’t explain how cool it is. We’re just going to live in the moment and just enjoy it.”
In the absence of Jonassen, Molineux was thrust into opening the bowling and also taking overs at the death and during power plays for the first time.
It’s been the making of her.
“You can’t get too floaty, I just can’t bowl too slow,” she said.
“Technique is something I’ve worked on a lot. I think I spend a little bit more time planning and getting things right.
“I’ve got more confidence because I’ve actually done the research now. Previously, I’d do the research but I wouldn’t really sit there and really plan out and visualise what could potentially happen, now because I’ve been hit around in the Big Bash the last couple of years, I thought I’d take a little bit more ownership.”
Molineux is getting to share this most excellent Caribbean experience with her housemates, leggie Georgia Wareham and pace bowler Tayla Vlaeminck.
“We just had a moment … before walking into the change rooms (after the semi-final win) where we all just looked at each other and sort of thought ‘what are we doing, what’s going on here’,” she said.
“I think we’re all just really proud of each other, it’s amazing to be able to experience it with those two.”