Beth Mooney in action. ©ICC
Posiview-InPost

Brisbane Heat had already cemented their spot in the semi-final and now have triumphed over Sydney Thunder by 3 wickets at Cazaly’s Stadium, Cairns.

Brisbane Heat won the toss and elected to field, putting Sydney Thunder into bat. The decision wasn’t fruitful initially for Heat as Thunder opener Rachel Priest hit back to back boundaries at deep extra cover and deep point respectively to Sammy-Jo Johnson in the very first over. She punished Jonassen with a boundary towards long on and an over-boundary as well in the next over. But Delissa Kimmince making an early breakthrough for her side, dismissing opener Rachel Priest in the third over, for 21 runs.

Soon Naomi Stalenberg followed Priest in the dug-out. Captain Alex Blackwell joined Haynes in the middle. From there, both of them took the charge. Haynes, alongside her captain, Alex Blackwell hit the bowlers to all sides of the park and at the end of the powerplay, they put up 52/2.

Both of them added 61 runs through a steady association. In the 12th over, Grace Harris made the breakthrough for Heat by claiming the wicket of Blackwell, who was dismissed by Mooney’s quick glove-work after scoring 28 off 23. Haynes though continued to accelerate the innings and got the support from Stafanie Taylor at the other end.

The two added another 52 runs for the fourth wicket before Haynes was finally dismissed by Johnson in the 19th over after a brilliant knock of 57 runs off 51 balls. After two balls, Taylor too got dismissed. Taylor’s 43 off 23 guided her team to a huge total of 171/7.

Chasing such a big total, Heat needed to accelerate their innings from the beginning. Grace Harris hit Lisa Griffith’s second delivery for a six at deep square leg. In the same over, she hit a boundary at deep point. But before she could move further, Stafanie Taylor trapper her for 13 off 7. Soon, Sammy-Jo Johnson was dismissed for a duck.

Kirby Short joined Mooney at the crease. Both tried to steady the ship and added 67 runs; where Mooney took the role of an anchor. After scoring 15 off 18, Short got out. Later, Mooney added another 46 runs with Jess Jonassen. But Thunder’s bowlers tried to maintain a good line and length and for that, Heat batters struggled to keep their wickets and started falling at regular intervals. Beth Mooney smashed a 55-ball 102 before Harmanpreet Kaur picked up her wicket in the 17th over. Her century comprised of 14 fours and a six.

Mooney’s wicket gave a little peace to the Thunder as Heat lost their four batters within 11 runs while 19 runs were still needed. But Laura Harris and Delissa Kimmince kept their cool and added the rest of runs and guided their team to a nail-biting win with 3 balls to spare. For Thunder, Stafanie Taylor and Nicola Carey bagged one wicket each while Harmanpreet Kaur scalped two wickets.

Though Sydney Thunder lost the match, they are currently at the top of the points table with 19 points while Brisbane Heat at the second position with 18 points after their completion of 14 matches each.