Perth Scorchers 172 for 4 (Mooney 59*, Devine 52, Coyte 2-34) beat Melbourne Renegades 171 for 6 (Harmanpreet 52*, Wareham 44, King 1-20) by 6 wickets
Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine pummeled an under pressure Melbourne Renegades in a well-executed chase as Perth Scorchers recorded a comfortable victory at the WACA.
A chase of 172 appeared tricky until Mooney and Devine combined for a 105-run third-wicket partnership. They relished the batting friendly conditions under lights as Scorchers waltzed to the target in the 17.2 overs.
The defeat puts pressure on Renegades, who are struggling to keep touch with the top four with five losses in six games. After electing to bat, Renegades were pinned down until a 76-run partnership between Harmanpreet Kaur and Georgia Wareham engineered a fightback.
Their momentum carried over when offspinner Hayley Matthews dismissed Chloe Piparo in the first over. But Renegades were left to rue Sarah Coyte dropping a sitter in the deep when Mooney was on 9 robbing 16-year-old left-arm quick Sara Kennedy of her first WBBL wicket.
Ahead of her imminent Year 10 exams, Kennedy hit speeds nudging 120kmph in her third WBBL match, but Renegades ultimately succumbed to veterans Mooney and Devine.
Having overtaken Elyse Villani as Scorchers’ highest ever run-scorer, Mooney used her feet superbly to thwart Wareham’s legspin. The game was on a knife’s edge at the midway point, but Scorchers decided to go for broke with the power surge after the drinks break.
The gamble worked superbly with Devine smashing three consecutive sixes off Matthews to turn the contest on its head.
Mooney reached her half-century after a drop from a leaping Tammy Beaumont at point in a tough chance that seemingly ended Renegades’ hopes. Devine reached her half-century in style with a six but fell off the next delivery to Georgia Prestwidge.
Scorchers should be well satisfied with their 4-2 record ahead of the season debut on Sunday of star England allrounder Nat Sciver-Brunt, who was a controversial late signing after not nominating for the overseas player draft.
With turn playing a factor in the earlier Strikers-Sixers match, star legspinner Alana King loomed large. She produced sharp turn immediately and on the second ball of the innings had Beaumont edging to slip.
Emerging spinner Amy Edgar, who has made a strong start to the season, relished the extra bounce on the surface and had Courtney Webb poking tamely to midwicket.
The pressure was on Matthews, who had scored just 63 runs from five games. Matthews struggled to shake her sluggish form, but turned her luck on 12 when Amy Jones dropped a regulation chance at long-on.
Matthews looked out of sorts until smashing a couple of boundaries from offspinner Lilly Mills in the eighth over. Just when she was building momentum, powering past her previous season high score of 20, Matthews fell to teenaged quick Chloe Ainsworth.
Harmanpreet and Wareham played smartly to steady the ship as Scorchers’ long-held struggles of taking wickets in the middle overs rearmed. The batters were intent on nudging the ball around and building a platform for the power surge, which they took in the 16th over.
Tensions boiled over when Harmanpreet was not ready to face Devine, whose dot delivery ultimately was deemed a dead ball. A brief delay ensued leading to a war of words as Devine’s mood deteriorated further when Wareham put the foot down to smash four boundaries off Edgar in the 17th over.
Devine felt slightly better after producing a direct run out to end Wareham’s 25-ball 44 and she was all smiles later in the night as Scorchers remained unbeaten at home.