Brisbane Heat opener Beth Mooney is confident she’s found peak form at the right time after striking her maiden Rebel WBBL century against the Sydney Thunder in Cairns on Saturday night.
Heading into the match, Mooney had scored just one half-century from 13 innings in WBBL|04 – an unbeaten 63 that came in the Heat’s opening match of the season.
She showed sparks of a revival in the 31-ball 44 she scored against the Strikers in Mackay last weekend, and was unstoppable against the Thunder at Cazaly’s Stadium, reaching triple figures in 53 deliveries before being stumped for 102 off 55.
Having spoken of the “sleepless nights” she was enduring during the lean run since that fifty, Mooney now hopes to sleep soundly ahead of next weekend’s semi-finals at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval.
“It was nice to hit a few out of the screws for the first time this season, this is a great batting wicket, with a good atmosphere and thankfully the rain stayed away,” Mooney said after the Heat wrapped up a three-wicket final-over win.
“I don’t want to lose any more sleep about my batting or dreaming about my back lift, so it’s obviously nice to finally contribute.
“I feel like I haven’t done the best I can do this season, so hopefully that means the best is yet to come for me come finals time.”
Mooney’s opening match 63no was followed by knocks of 25no, 4, 25, 28no, 30, 0, 35, 13, 18, 6, 44, 14 before Saturday’s 102.
And while she wasn’t producing the big scores she would have liked, she’s still currently third on the overall league runs table after 14 matches, with 407 at 40.70.
The Queenslander is the only player to have scored more than 400 runs in every edition of the WBBL to date, a remarkable achievement from the 24-year-old Australian representative.
The Heat now have a week to prepare for Saturday’s semi-final and Mooney said their Cairns victory would be a welcome injection of confidence ahead of a likely rematch against the Thunder.
“They’ve been the form team of the competition, they’ve got some world-class players in their line-up,” she said.
“They’ve got great batters, bowlers and a real consistency in their line-up.
“I think it was really important to get the win over them coming into finals seeing as we might play them again.”
This is the second time the Heat have made the finals after an appearance in WBBL|02, but Mooney believes the fact that other players – including Grace Harris and Sammy-Jo Johnson – have stepped up with the bat in her stead is one of the reasons they’re better positioned to succeed than ever.
“This is the first season where we’ve been consistent and that’s seen everyone contribute at different times.
“We haven’t relied on one player. It doesn’t matter who we play in final, I think we’ve got the line -up to do it and the fact we’ve played some really good cricket throughout this season reflects that.”