Australia team celebrating a wicket. ©Cricket Australia
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Sophie Molineux continued her impressive run of form bowling Australia to victory on the final day of their three-day warm up match against England Academy at Marlborough College in Swindon on Saturday (July 13). Molienux picked up four wickets to trigger a middle order collapse, giving Australia a comfortable 240-run win.

Chasing 470 for victory, the hosts got off to a terrible start losing Bryony Smith caught and bowled to Tayla Vlaeminck for seven. Lauren Winfield and Fran Wilson, the experienced duo, strung together an important partnership to give England Academy some hope in their chase. While Winfield chose the more conservative option, looking to occupy the crease rather than play aggressively, Wilson chose to got after the visitors’ bowling. The pair batted together for 28.3 overs and managed a 98-run stand for the second wicket before Molineux made her mark.

Wilson was the first to go, edging Molineux to Meg Lanning at first slip, for a 79-ball 52 including eight boundaries. The right-hander was particularly severe on the short ball, using the cut and pull to good effect.

Winfield’s slow compilation of runs continued in the company of Danielle Wyatt before she was bowled by Molineux for a laborious 120-ball 49. Sophie Dunkley (5) didn’t last long becoming Molineux’s third victim of the day. When Nicola Carey dismissed Georgie Boyce for a duck, the hosts were in a spot of bother at 147 for 5.

Wyatt attempted to resurrect the innings alongside Alice Davidson-Richards, but was deceived by Molineux and bowled for 31. At 165 for 6 it seemed as though England Academy was staring at an outright defeat. However, Davidson-Richards (43) found an able ally in Emma Lamb (17) and the pair ground it out for a 39-run stand. More importantly for the hosts, they batted out close to an hour of play— 13.1 overs to be precise.

Just when the hosts may have dared to dream of a possible draw, Ashleigh Gardner stepped in for Australia. The off-spinner triggered a lower order collapse as the hosts lost their last four wickets for 25 runs. They were dismissed for 229 as Australia wrapped up a 240-run win.

For the visitors, the spinners were the standouts picking up eight wickets between them. Molineux finished with figures of 4 for 30, Gardner picked up 3 for 37 while Georgia Wareham, Carey and Vlaemick managed one wicket each.

Earlier in the day, cameos from Molineux (33 not out in 27 balls) and Carey (21 in 13 balls) helped extend Australia’s overnight lead to 469, before Kirstie Gordon skittled through the lower order to give the hosts some relief.

The left-arm spinner finished with impressive figures of 6 for 85 in the second innings to add to her 2 for 43 in the first. Her haul included the wickets of Ellyse Perry (115), Beth Mooney— the two centurions for Australia— and Meg Lanning. Beth Langston was the hosts’ second-most impressive bowler with figures of 2 for 35.