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Sophie Devine top-scored for the Strikers with 65.


Strikers struck by Heat in Mackay

03 November 2019

Adelaide Strikers have slipped from top spot after their run of three successive wins was brought to an end by superstar Brisbane Heat batter Beth Mooney on Sunday in Mackay.

Mooney was unstoppable as she led Brisbane to a convincing nine-wicket rebel WBBL|05 win with 17 balls to spare. The left-handed Aussie ace was in complete command in an unbeaten 77 from just 51 balls as the Heat reached 1/142 in reply to Adelaide’s 8/141.

While Brisbane’s win lifted the reigning WBBL champion back into the top four with a 3-3 win-loss record, it also handed top spot to Sydney Thunder over the Strikers. The Thunder has four wins, one loss and one no-result, while the Strikers have a 4-2 record. Sydney Sixers have four wins and one loss in third spot.

Mooney, who thumped 73 from 49 balls against the Strikers in the losing side on Saturday, blasted 10 boundaries on Sunday, playing classical and improvised shots and using her feet to put the bowlers off their line and length. She was happy to hit the ball in the air - striking a number of lofted off-drives to the boundary - and also produced cuts, pulls, cover drives and even the odd ramp shot.

Opening partner Grace Harris had helped get the Heat off to a flyer with 30 from 27 balls in a stand of 65, while star Australian allrounder Jess Jonassen (25 from 25 balls) stayed with Mooney until the job was done. Only leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington managed a wicket for the out-of-sorts Strikers, having Harris well caught on the rope at long-on by Sophie Devine.

It was a very different game compared with the Strikers’ comprehensive allround performance in an eight-wicket win on Saturday, when five bowlers shared two wickets each and skipper Suzie Bates and middle-order batter Bridget Patterson guided the Strikers to an emphatic triumph.

Adelaide opener Sophie Devine had given the Strikers a shot at completing back-to-back weekend wins by fighting hard for 65 from 53 balls. Her opening stand of 38 with Bates had given hope the Strikers could continue their winning run as they  pushed to reclaim a finals spot after finishing just falling short last season. But a collapse of 5/37 proved too hard to fight back from - and Mooney proved just too good.

Bates looked dangerous early on as she plundered successive boundaries from opening bowler Sammy-Jo Johnson - with a heave over mid-wicket, then a cut - and medium-pacer Delissa Kimmince - with a cover drive and another big blow to cow corner. Bates, player-of-the-match with 55 not out from 52 balls in Saturday’s win, swept off-spinner Harris for another boundary and the Strikers were looking on top again at 0/38 from five overs. But Bates tried to force Johnson away over mid-wicket once too often and skied her to Harris at mid-off. She had made 27 from 22 balls.

Johnson dramatically swung the game’s momentum in the space of an over as she added the scalp of Tahlia McGrath for a golden duck. McGrath, in good touch after a matchwinning unbeaten 65 against Perth Scorchers then 26 on Saturday, surprisingly guided a short ball straight to Kimmince at point.

Devine, who started the season with a bang with 72 not out and 48 against the Renegades, had made just seven runs in her previous three innings and again was battling to find her usual fluency, twice dropped by Kiwi spinner Amelia Kerr at mid-wicket, when on nine, then 24. Devine, hitter of the most sixes in WBBL history, was not the player you want to give a couple of chances to and she made the most of the misses - but Brisbane didn’t end up paying the ultimate price.

The Heat was still on, with medium-pacer Georgia Prestwidge bang on target as she twice in two overs hit the top of off-stump to send Patterson and Lauren Winfield packing.

Patterson, fresh from her crucial unbeaten 57 on Saturday, was gone for five this time, while Winfield made seven. When promising leggie Kerr had Katie Mack (four) well caught at mid-on by Mikayla Hinkley, Adelaide was looking well short of a par score at 5/75 in the 13th over.

Wellington put the Strikers back in the hunt with a cameo 23 from 15 balls from No. 7, unleashing her reverse sweep for a couple of boundaries and also driving Prestwidge high and straight for another four. But Prestwidge slipped one through Wellington’s defence on the way to claiming 3/29 - all clean bowled - from her four overs.

Devine was getting into the swing of it with a delicate late cut, followed by a fierce pull for boundaries from Johnson and she ended up hitting eight fours, staying there until the last ball of the innings, selflessly run out trying to steal an impossible single. The Strikers had seemingly made a game of it by adding 54 runs from the last five overs to lift their score to 8/141. Having dismissed the Heat for 139 on Saturday, there appeared some chance of an unlikely win. Well, there might have been, if it wasn’t for Beth Mooney at the top of the Heat order.

The Strikers are back in town next weekend for a couple of crucial games at Karen Rolton Oval, against Perth Scorchers on Saturday and Melbourne Stars on Sunday.