Mooney smashes ton as Scorchers topple ladder-leading Thunder

Mooney smashes ton as Scorchers topple ladder-leading Thunder

Perth Scorchers 159 for 4 (Mooney 101*) beat Sydney Thunder 117 for 8 (Litchfield 45, Edgar 3-18) by 42 runs

Perth Scorchers usurped Sydney Thunder at the top of the table after Beth Mooney’s third WBBL century powered her team to a 42-run victory.

After losing fellow superstar opener Sophie Devine early, Mooney almost single-handedly steered Scorchers to a competitive 159 for 4 at the Junction Oval.

In response, the resurgent Thunder fell to 18 for 3 late in the power play, having not dropped any ground there in their previous seven games.

Young, fast Chloe Ainsworth (2 for 8) set the carnage in motion with back-to-back wickets and things only got further out of control from there.

The loss was only the Thunder’s second of the tournament and relegated them to second place in the standings behind the Scorchers.

It was only in the twilight of the Scorchers’ innings that Mooney enjoyed a steady partnership as Hannah Darlington spearheaded the Thunder attack to keep her teammates quiet.

Chloe Piparo did well to help Mooney steady the ship following the loss of Amy Jones just as Scorchers looked set to receive the power surge.

Mooney had played a patient innings but hit Sammy-Jo Johnson for four fours off five deliveries in the final over to wrest control from Scorchers.

On 97, Mooney pulled Thunder stand-in captain Johnson beyond deep midwicket for four to pick up an unbeaten ton on the last ball of the innings and the 61st delivery he faced.

Mooney is now the only player to have surpassed 400 total runs in all nine iterations of the WBBL and is the second highest run-scorer of the current edition, just one run behind Devine.

Thunder were in trouble late in the power play after Ainsworth trapped import stars Chamari Athapaththu and Marizanne Kapp on consecutive balls.

Scorchers successfully reviewed an lbw shout on in-form Athapaththu before Piparo caught Kapp out of his depth for a golden duck.

Rested with a sore hamstring, captain Heather Knight watched helplessly as the Thunder’s batting order fell to 33 for 5 when Devine caught and bowled Claire Moore.

Only Australian representative Phoebe Litchfield offered resistance at the first fall, so when she was caught deep in Amy Edgar’s bowling, Scorchers were home.