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Molineux making opportunity count

03 October 2018

Australia allrounder Sophie Molineux is embracing the pressure of her new responsibilities with the ball in the ongoing T20 series against New Zealand.

With star spinner Jess Jonassen sidelined for the three-match Commonwealth Bank Women's T20 Series with a knee injury, fellow left-arm finger spinner Molineux has taken on the role usually played by the experienced Queenslander, opening the bowling and returning at the death.

It's a big task for the 21-year-old Victorian, who came into the series with just three T20Is under her belt, but Molineux is relishing the opportunity.

Molineux couldn't ask for a better mentor on tour than Australia assistant coach and legendary left-arm spinning allrounder Shelley Nitschke.

The pair have been working closely together through the pre-season and the current series and Molineux believes her calming influence has helped her hold her nerve in the face of big-hitting New Zealand batters Bates and Sophie Devine.

"She's been really good, she's a really calm head so I think that's the best thing to have around in this situation when you can go for 16 runs one over and then come back and have to bowl tight the next, she's been really good on that front.”

The Victorian also had a chance to catch up with Jonassen at Monday's second game at Allan Border Field, with the Brisbane local dropping in to support her teammates.

"It looks like she's going really well and we miss her around the squad, but I had a chat to her and she was really open," Molineux said.

"We've had some really good discussions about left-arm off-spin and I'm really lucky to be in squad alongside her and learning off her."

Molineux picked up her first international wicket on Monday, removing inventive New Zealand lower-order batter Bernadine Bezuidenhout in the 18th over.

"It was pretty cool, it was towards the back end of the innings and I was just trying to hit the crease and to get that wicket was the monkey off the back," she said. "To get that first international wicket was pretty cool, Midge (Alyssa Healy) had me in a headlock and messed up my hair."

While Molineux is being called upon to stand up with the ball, she's yet to have much of an opportunity to display her talents with the bat.

She opens the batting for Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades but with a talent-packed Australian batting order that sees the world's top-ranked ODI batter Ellyse Perry listed at No.7, for now

Molineux is content to sit back and take in the show.

"To be honest I'm loving watching people do their thing," she said. "To be able to learn and sit there next to Rachel (Haynes) and Pez (Perry) and be able to analyse the game, I'm learning heaps just watching the girls go about their business.

"I'm quite happy to be getting pad rash at the moment."

Australia will be looking to seal a series whitewash when they meet New Zealand in the third and final T20I at Canberra's Manuka Oval on Friday at 7.20pm AEST.