Sophie Devine has continued to make Aussie selectors wish she’d have been born on this side of the ditch.
The Perth Scorchers captain teamed up with regular partner-in-crime Beth Mooney to devastating effect on Sunday afternoon, all but ending the Sydney Thunder’s hopes of victory before their innings had even started.
The openers’ 173-run partnership, the second-highest in WBBL history and the highest ever by a pair of female Scorchers, ensured the Scorchers would run out 81-run winners at UTAS Stadium.
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It was as if Devine and Mooney had stored up the runs they would have scored in Saturday’s rained-out game so as to unleash double the total on the Thunder.
Devine’s 101 from 60 deliveries was the third century of her career and the fastest of WBBL|07 so far. It was her eighth time scoring five or more sixes in a WBBL innings, which is five more times than her nearest rival has achieved the feat.
Mooney went for a duck in her last hit-out but proved she was at no risk of hitting a form slump any time soon.
Along with Tahlia McGrath, Mooney was Australia’s most consistent batter in the recent T20I and ODI series against India and she recaptured that form on Sunday, bringing up a WBBL half-ton for the 30th time.
It wasn’t until the 19th over that the opening partnership was finally broken, when Mooney edged an Issy Wong delivery to wicketkeeper Tahlia Wilson.
Devine followed her three balls later, caught in the deep by Smriti Mandhana, but by then, the damage was well and truly done.
To make matters worse for the Thunder, Lauren Smith injured her hand attempting to catch Devine earlier in the innings. Not only did she drop what would’ve been a game-changing catch, she split the webbing in her left hand and had to leave the field for medical attention. Smith showed courage to return for a spell at the crease in the second innings.
The Thunder had a mighty task at hand and barely fired a shot in their quest to accomplish it.
Mandhana was caught at mid-wicket in the third over and things only got worse from there.
The Thunder’s opening six combined for a total less than Mooney’s and only four of their 11 batters hit double figures.
Alana King did the bulk of the damage for the Scorchers, registering a personal best haul of 4-11.
The Sydneysiders limped to the finish and could consider themselves lucky not to have been bowled out before their 20 overs were up.
Without skipper Rachael Haynes to steer the ship, the Thunder’s ability to defend their title is being called emphatically into question just two games into their WBBL|07 campaign.