Mooney, Devine take Scorchers to play-offs even as Mack’s knock goes in vain

Beth Mooney (L), Sophie Devine (M) and Katie Mack © Getty Images

Yet another century partnership from Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine saw Perth Scorchers beat Adelaide Strikers by 12 runs in a high-scoring game at the Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide on Wednesday (November 17). Katie Mack played a valiant knock to score 84 not out, but couldn’t prevent Scorchers from making it to the play-offs of the seventh edition of the WBBL with a hard fought win.

Opting to bat first in the Faith Thomas trophy match, Scorchers were off to a rapid start with Mooney – playing in her 100th WBBL game –  getting of the blocks quickly. Although Devine was the one to hit the first boundary in an eventful opening over where she was dropped, it was the left-hander’s shot making that derailed Strikers’ bowling plans early on. Mooney started with a four through long-off in the third over before taking on Tahlia McGrath with three consecutive boundaries. They were 50 for no loss at the end of the power play.

Post the power play, with Devine playing the second fiddle, Mooney took Scorchers’ score to 80 at the ten over mark. The Scorchers skipper eventually opened up when she took on Amanda-Jade Wellington to hit back-to-back boundaries in the 13th over after Mooney went past her fifty from 36 balls.

Once they brought up their third 100-run partnership of the season, the duo took a liking to Sarah Coyte to hit three boundaries in an over. Devine launched Jemma Barsby over long-off for a maximum as they Scorchers continued to pile on the runs. Megan Schutt eventually broke the partnership of 137 runs when she had Devine caught by Darcie Brown for 61 off 52 balls. Mooney soon followed with Coyte getting her out for a magnificent 78.

However, Heather Graham treated McGrath with disdain as Scorchers took 20 runs from the last over that included two sixes. They finished on a mammoth 177 from the stipulated 20 overs, losing only three wickets.

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In the chase, despite the early loss of Dane van Niekerk, Mack and Laura Wolvaardt kept Strikers in the game with their 90-run stand. Mack drove Marizanne Kapp through cover for her first boundary before Wolvaardt hit two fours off Lisa Griffith. They ended the power play with 40 runs on the board with the South Africa batter playing the aggressor.

Meanwhile, Mack settled in to find three boundaries in quick time when she first hit Graham past long-off for a four and then cut Alana King through point before getting another one to the long-on fence. The duo took Strikers to 99 in the 13th over with both Mack and Wolvaardt moving into the 40s.

Just as it looked like Strikers would continue the ascendancy, Devine struck to remove Wolvaardt for 40. McGrath started with a few streaky shots even as Mack reached her third fifty of the season from 40 balls. 13 runs came from the over bowled by Taneale Peschel to reduce the target for the Adelaide side to 61 from the last six overs.

In the 17th over, Graham accounted for McGrath and Mack, who survived two stumping chances, hit the final ball of the over a boundary. Bridget Patterson and Mack took 12 runs from the next over with some hard running leaving Strikers to get 27 from 12 balls.

Graham continued her good day and bowled another tight over giving away only four runs, while dismissing Patterson in the process. That over meant the target was out of sight for Strikers by then and Devine made sure that Scorchers didn’t suffer any last over hiccups. Mack remained unbeaten on 84 off 61 balls as the home side fell short by 12 runs.

Brief Scores: Perth Scorchers 177/3 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 78, Sophie Devine 61; Sarah Coyte 1/27) beat Adelaide Strikers 165/5 in 20 overs (Katie Mack 84*, Laura Wolvaardt 40; Heather Graham 2/30, Sophie Devine 2/30) by 12 runs POTM: Beth Mooney

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