Sophie Molineux in action. ©Cricket Pakistan

In the second Melbourne Derby of WBBL|04 Sophie Molineux lit up the proceedings with a knock of 78 not out. The Melbourne Renegades won with relative ease as the Melbourne Stars could not find the right formula to beat their cross-city rivals at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Renegades won by 48 runs. After the previous fixture between the two sides it was always going difficult to live up to, and so it proved today.

The Stars didn’t help themselves as Erin Osborne dropped Molineux twice within the first seven overs. Along with England star Danni Wyatt the Renegades started positively and at the end of the powerplay, they were 0 for 51. The fifty partnership was brought up by a six from the bat of Wyatt.

Wyatt wasn’t to last much longer as she fell for 32. Molineux batted through the innings for a 54-ball innings of 78 not out. After the top three, no other Renegades player was to score in double figures. Molineux adjudged her innings well. It was Molineux’s highest score in her WBBL career.

On a pitch that offered the quicker bowlers some pace and bounce Holly Ferling showed glimpses of why she was part of the Australian set up before injuries. Ferling would finish with 2 for 30.

The Renegades would have felt that they should have scored more but were satisfied with 5 for 149.

The Stars never recovered from the early loss of three wickets. Lizelle Lee was the first to go run out. Ange Reakes with a six and a four was going well before she became Molly Strano’s first victim of the day.

The Renegades brought back Lea Tahuhu in the fifth over; the plan was to make the all-important wicket of Mignon du Preez it worked, and the Stars were 3 for 31. The New Zealander was sporting a red headband that has been popularised by Sophie Devine. The wearing of the headgear will raise money for charity.

Georgia Elwiss and Annabel Sutherland were responsible for getting the Stars back on track. The run-rate was getting higher all the time and it induced Sutherland to make the mistake going for 14. It was Strano’s third wicket of the innings as she finished with figures of 3 for 25.

Elwiss batted well but the Stars needed players in the top order to support her. Had Lee or Reakes batted longer in the powerplay as The Renegades opening pair had done this would have been a contest.