Universities off-spinner Emily Mifsud claimed her 100th First Grade wicket in the club’s four-wicket win over Bankstown in the Twenty20 clash at Sydney University Oval on Sunday.

Mifsud claimed 1-17 from her four overs to take her to the 100 wicket milestone in just 68 matches, including limited overs fixtures, in the Sydney Cricket Association Women’s premier competition.

While Mifsud was reaching her milestone, Melissa Norup (3-0 off two overs) and Qanita Jalil (3-9 off four overs) helped Universities to collect six competition points.

Having won the toss and batted, Bankstown reached 9-60 off their 20 overs, with Laura Wright (23) and Prudence Roebuck (15) the best of the willow-wielders.

Universities lost six wickets in reaching 61, with Samantha Robinson the best with the bat with 16.

Unbeaten Gordon head the Twenty20 ladder on 19 points after three rounds, with Universities (13), Parramatta (12) and St George-Sutherland (12) making up the top four.

Meanwhile, the Mifsud story is an interesting one. A former State level junior softballer, she transitioned to cricket as a wicket keeper and went on to vice-captain NSW at the 2010 National Under 15 Championships.

After linking up with the Universities club the following season, she soon proved her value with the gloves, taking out the SCAWC First Grade Wicket Keeper of the Year award for the most dismissals in 2011-12.

But on the advice of club captain Alex Blackwell, who faced her in the nets, and club coach at the time James Walsh, she switched to off-spin bowling midway through the 2012-13 season.

While she says it was a hard decision to give up the gloves and take up bowling, the switch paid off with immediate results and she finished second in the SCAWC First Grade Bowling Aggregate award for that season. 

Likened to Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon for her tall, slender frame and bowling style, where she is not afraid to give the ball some air, Mifsud’s ability to get significant turn, dip and an excellent seam position makes her a real threat to the opposition.

Since making the transition to bowling Mifsud has been a consistent wicket-taker and taken more scalps than any other bowler in the Sydney Women’s First Grade competition in the past four seasons. The 21-year-old qualified personal trainer and massage therapist from Burraneer has also been involved in 28 fielding dismissals during that time, including 13 run outs from her fast and accurate throws at the stumps.

With a First Grade career bowling average of a measly 15.69, a strike rate of just 20.61, and a remarkable dot ball average (number of dot balls delivered per over) exceeding 58 per cent, Mifsud’s aim is to keep improving.

Having already secured First Grade Limited Overs and Twenty20 premierships with Universities WCC, Mifsud says she wants to keep improving all aspects of her game and push for representative teams, but this time as a bowler.


NSW Women’s Premier competition: Twenty20 Cup – Round 3

First Grade: Universities 6-61 off 19.3 overs (Sundries 18, Samantha Robinson 16; Kellie Gauci 1-5, Denbigh Morris 1-6) defeated Bankstown 9-60 off 20 overs (Laura Wright 23, Prudence Roebuck 15; Melissa Norup 3-0, Qanita Jalil 3-9, Nell Gibson 1-7, Kate Owen 1-9, Emily Mifsud 1-17) by four wickets at Sydney University Oval. Toss: Bankstown. Batted first: Bankstown. Points: Universities 6, Bankstown 0.