Australia have strolled past Pakistan and Ireland at the ICC Women's World T20 2018, but it's likely to start getting tougher for them, beginning with the game against New Zealand.
Young Australia left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux knows that New Zealand will be "no easy beats" and that every game is going to be a challenge from this stage for her team. After the New Zealand game, Australia ace India, who are undefeated in the tournament, in their final league game on 17 November. These two matches might decide the semi-finalists from Group B.
'Absolutely pumped' – New Zealand have taken the positives from the loss to India, and are now all set to take on Australia in a must-win #WT20 game.— ICC World Twenty20 (@WorldT20) November 13, 2018
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"In a tournament like this, every game is going to be a challenge but both New Zealand and India have got really good teams with dominant world-class players, so we’ll have to be on the ball and continue to get better each game," Molineux said.
Australia have had a good recent record against their trans-Tasman rivals, having beaten them 3-0 in a Twenty20 International series at home before the World T20.
"We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves," the 20-year-old said. "We played them in Australia not too long ago in home conditions but we have to take these (Caribbean) conditions into account.
"They’ve got some strong players as well so we have to be on our game."
Molineux has bowled a lot in the Powerplays in the past two months leading up to the tournament. She will be ready for another outing, this time against the likes of Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine, among others.
"Having only two (fielders) out means you have to be right on the ball from the start," Molineux said of the challenge. "It’s quite ruthless, the Powerplay, I’ve learnt.
"I’ve underestimated how hard it is and having the opportunity to bowl against the likes of her (Bates) and (Sophie) Devine in Australia, I really learnt I have to be right on from the start.
"Suzie’s been in great form and that doesn’t change either, so hopefully it goes our way tomorrow but she’s definitely in some good form and quite a dangerous player."
In addition to Bates and Devine, New Zealand also have one of the fastest bowlers in women's cricket, Lea Tahuhu, who will no doubt pose a challenge to the Australian openers. But Molineux, while recognising her Melbourne Renegades teammate's skills, backs Australia's batters to come through.
"I think any surface Lea bowls on, she’s going to have a bit of pace and bounce," Molineux pointed out. "(But) Midge (Alyssa Healy) has been playing beautifully up the top and Beth Mooney’s doing really well up there with her, so hopefully we negate her pace and get through her Power Play and score a few off her."
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