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2nd ODI, Mirpur, March 24, 2024, Australia Women tour of Bangladesh
(23.5/50 ov, T:98) 98/4

AUS Women won by 6 wickets (with 157 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match

Molineux stars on her ODI comeback as Australia take 2-0 ODI series lead

The visitors lost three early wickets in the chase but Ellyse Perry managed the rest of the innings

In her first ODI since September 2021, Sophie Molineux bowled ten overs unchanged and returned three wickets  •  Getty Images

In her first ODI since September 2021, Sophie Molineux bowled ten overs unchanged and returned three wickets  •  Getty Images

Australia 98 for 4 (Perry 35*) beat Bangladesh 97 (Molineux 3-10) by six wickets
Australia allrounder Sophie Molineux made a triumphant return to ODI cricket in a six-wicket trouncing of Bangladesh.
Molineux, in her first ODI since 2021, claimed 3 for 10 from 10 overs to help bowl Bangladesh out for 97 in 44.1 overs in Mirpur.
Australia were 39 for 3 in the 13th over of the chase but got home comfortably to take a 2-0 lead in the three-game series.
Molineux returned to the Australian set-up last month for the first time since October 2021 after suffering a foot stress fracture and then a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in a knee.
After being overlooked for game one of the Bangladesh series, the 26-year-old on Sunday produced a top-shelf spell of left-arm spin bowling which included five maiden overs.
Molineux claimed three of the initial five wickets to fall and Bangladesh at one stage had slipped to 61 for 8 in the 32nd over. It followed a successful WPL where she was a key part of Royal Challenger Bangalore's success with a player-of-the-match display in the final. It's form she has carried forward.
"It's definitely helped," she said. "I think just getting some match experience in as well. I think that's one thing you sort of miss out on when you don't play for a while. Trying to keep up and catch up with the game. So I think going over there, [it] probably helped to have a few more matches under my belt, with some intensity as well."
Her feats came as Megan Schutt, Ashleigh Gardner, Georgia Wareham and Alana King collectively overwhelmed the Bangladesh batters.
Only No. 9 Nahida Akter passed 11 runs with 20 extras - 18 wides and two leg byes - the next-highest contributor.
"We just want to keep asking questions of the Bangladesh girls," Molineux said. "We know that they've got a really solid defence and put a price on their wickets. So, we knew it was going to be hard to take all ten wickets today and we'd have to stay pretty patient. There wasn't too many bad balls in there and I think the spinners were able to adjust and use their variations particularly well."
Australia's batters then reeled in their target with Ellyse Perry top-scoring with an unbeaten 35 from 50 balls.
Phoebe Litchfield's lean run continued when she was run out for 5 while Tahlia McGrath also went the same way. But Perry combined with Gardner to steer the Australians to a comfortable victory.
Australia won the opening ODI by 118 runs three days ago with Wednesday's third game to be followed by three T20Is.

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