Sophie's divine hundred and Alana King's four-fer headline Scorchers' victory
Sophie Devine and Alana King © Getty Images
A clinical century from Sophie Devine and the career-best figures of Alana King helped Perth Scorchers beat Sydney Thunder by 81 runs at the Aurora Stadium in Launceston on Sunday (October 24).
After scoring just nine runs from the first two overs for the Scorchers, Devine welcomed the Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma with a massive six over long-on. Thunder's captain Hannah Darlington’s fourth delivery was swiftly guided towards the vacant third man region as Scorchers collected 35 runs from the power play. Devine Changed gears and went after right arm pacer Sammy-Jo Johnson, tonking 17 runs from the 8th over.
Darlington re-introduced Sharma and Samantha Bates, but that relief lasted for only a couple of overs as the 19-year-old leg spinner Anika Learoyd came into Devine’s firing line. The New Zealand skipper launched Learoyd for two fours and two sixes in one over to bring up the partnership of 100 runs between herself and Beth Mooney.
While Devine was taking on every Thunder bowler, Mooney was playing the role of an anchor to perfection. She rotated the strike well and went after bad balls when they were offered to her. Patient Mooney scored her 30th WBBL half-century off 48 balls in the 18th over. Two balls later, Devine brought her third WBBL century and the second in Perth Scorchers’ colours to stamp her authority on the day.
After applauding her captain’s century, Mooney hit three back-to-back boundaries against English import Issy Wong. However, she was dismissed trying to accelerate in the death overs. Mooney’s wicket in the 19th over broke the partnership of 173 runs between her and Devine, which now is the second-highest opening partnership in the WBBL after Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry’s partnership of 199 in the fifth season of WBBL.
The Devine juggernaut was finally stopped in the final over by Darlington as Smriti Mandhana took a simple catch in the cow corner. Sri Lankan international Chamari Atapattu then hit two fours on the last two balls of the innings to propel Scorchers to a whopping 186 for two.
Thunder’s chase started on shaky grounds as they lost the Indian opener Smriti Mandhana in the third over. Tahlia Wilson and Phoebe Litchfield then batted well to take Thunder through the power play without losing any wicket. Scorchers were able to put the pressure on Thunder with their dynamic fielding, and King took advantage of that pressure to send back Wilson and Johnson in the same over.
Heather Graham was introduced in the 11th over and she delivered with a wicket of Litchfield, who scored 24 runs off 34 balls. In-form King came back for her final over and she dismissed Learoyd and Corinne Hall in the space of two balls to achieve her best figures in the WBBL. Deepti Sharma hit run-a-ball 20, including two fours, but it was too little too late for Thunder as they could only score 105 for nine in the 20 overs.
Perth Scorchers 186/2 in 20 overs (Sophie Devine 101, Beth Mooney 65; Issy Wong 1/24) beat Sydney Thunder 105/9 in 20 overs (Phoebe Litchfield 24, Deepti Sharma 20; Alana King 4/11) by 81 runs.