The melting pot of global talent that is the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League allowed Australia’s Beth Mooney to play the innings of her brief international career last night in Sydney.
Mooney struck an unbeaten 86 from 56 balls at North Sydney Oval on Friday night to guide Australia to a Women’s Ashes-sealing six wicket win.
It was a breakout innings for the Queenslander, whose previous best in the shortest form of the game at the highest level was just 26 in her debut match nearly two years ago.
Now the 23-year-old holds the record for the highest T20 international score by an Australian woman on home soil.
While Mooney’s blistering knock might have come as a surprise to the 3,922 in attendance and the hundreds of thousands watching on television around the world, those who pay close attention to the WBBL would not be shocked one iota.
Opening for Brisbane Heat, Mooney was the second highest run-scorer in WBBL|02, behind only injured skipper Meg Lanning, with 482 runs at 43.82 and a strike rate of 115 runs per 100 balls faced.
She scored five half-centuries last summer, four of which were unbeaten knocks with three coming in successful run chases.
Against the Perth Scorchers at the WACA Ground last December, the Heat chased down the victory target of 95 inside 13 overs. Mooney scored 67no.
In that knock in Perth, Mooney took down England pace ace Katherine Brunt, just like she did in Sydney on Friday night.
Throughout the tournament she came up against Australia’s best bowlers along with international superstars like Brunt, South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp, England’s Danni Wyatt and Kiwi Susie Bates just to name a few.
It’s that exposure to the world’s best players in the WBBL that has given Mooney the belief she can perform on the global stage, and it showed last night.
“I think it’s massively important,” Mooney said when asked about the importance of the WBBL to her development.
“The leaps and bounds that Cricket Australia have made in terms of competitions like the WBBL is an amazing thing.
“To be able to play against the likes of your Katherine Brunts and Nat Scivers and players like that who are really experienced international players and know their games inside out, to play alongside them and against them really helps players like myself feel confident when I’m up against them in a game like that.
“The WBBL has been a fantastic thing and a really great initiative that they’ve made and it’s got a long way to go.
“I’m really excited to see where the next phase of that tournament takes the game.”
With the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes Series already secured, Mooney and the Australians travel to Canberra for two final T20s with the aim to win the last leg of the multi-format series.
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes
Australia lead England 4-2
Australia T20 squad: Sarah Aley, Alex Blackwell, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (c), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.
England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.
First ODI Australia won by two wickets
Second ODI Australia won by 75 runs (DLS method)
Third ODI England won by 20 runs (DLS method)
Day-Night Test Match drawn
First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17
North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation
Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19
Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21
Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT