Half-centuries from Beth Mooney and Maddy Green led the way for Brisbane Heat as they jumped to the top of the Rebel WBBL table with a nine-wicket win over the Melbourne Stars at Junction Oval.
Chasing the Heat’s 4-165, Green and Mooney put on 92 for the first wicket before the former, who had played the aggressor early to bring up her first WBBL half-century, came unstuck to the bowling of leg-spinner Madeline Penna.
It ended a brilliant knock of 56 from just 33 balls, including seven fours and two sixes, but bodes well for the Heat who had experimented with Kirby Short and Grace Harris at the top of the order alongside Mooney before elevating Green last weekend.
After Green’s departure, Mooney carried on where she left off, scoring an incredible fifth half-century from eight innings in WBBL|05, from 48 deliveries.
Backed up by a rapid 37no from 26 from allrounder Jess Jonassen, the Heat timed their run to perfection as they reached their target with three balls to spare.
League leading run scorer Mooney finished unbeaten on 70 from 60 deliveries and now has 441 runs at 88.2 for the season.
It saw the Heat leap to the top of the table, level on 10 points with the Adelaide Strikers, Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers, but ahead on net run rate.
Electing to field, the Heat struck two massive early blows to remove both Stars openers Lizelle Lee (6) and Elyse Villani (6) in the opening 2.2 overs, the former lbw to Sammy-Jo Johnson before the latter was bowled by a superb Delissa Kimmince delivery.
Elevated to No.4, promising allrounder Annabel Sutherland joined South African import in the middle and the pair put on 102 for the third wicket.
Sutherland made the most of her promotion, striking five fours in her run-a-ball 38 before being bowled by Kimmince.
Du Preez continued to form she showed against the Strikers on Sunday, bringing up a second consecutive half-century from 51 balls before continuing the attack.
The South African looked poised for a maiden Big Bash century when she was adjudged lbw to Kimmince in the 19th over for 88 from just 51 deliveries, ending an outstanding knock that featured 12 fours and two maximums.
Kimmince (3-27) finished the pick of the bowlers, with spinner Jonassen (0-23) and Johnson (1-23) also economical.
Perry smashes sixes, windows in Launceston
An ambulance window wasn’t the only thing Ellyse Perry smashed as she starred in an emphatic 39-run win for the Sydney Sixers over the Hobart Hurricanes.
Batting first at Launceston’s Invermay Park, Alyssa Healy did the early damage against the Hurricanes’ bowling attack, taking 21 runs from one Nicola Carey over.
She found the boundary five times and cleared it twice before Carey had her revenge, bowling Healy for a 24-ball 39.
Ashleigh Gardner chipped in with a 24-ball 28, never quite igniting, while Perry anchored the Sixers’ innings, bringing up her third half-century of WBBL|05 before finishing unbeaten on 70.
She cleared the rope four times during her 56-ball knock, including a massive six from the final ball of the innings that went out of the ground and broke the front window of a St John’s ambulance.
Her efforts, combined with a late cameo from Erin Burns (26no), lifted the Sixers to 2-172 from their 20 overs.
The Hurricanes, searching for a way to snap a five-game losing streak, elevated Carey to the top of the order alongside Erin Fazackerley but the move didn’t pay off with Australian allrounder Carey (4) trapped lbw by South Africa quick Marizanne Kapp.
Fazackerley (16 off 8) made a typically fast start before holing out to leg-spinner Dane van Niekerk before the loss of English star Heather Knight (6) left the Hurricanes 3-29.
Captain Corinne Hall (31) and Fran Wilson (29) attempted to get the Hurricanes back on track, but after their 63-run stand was broken regular wickets continued to fall, the hosts eventually bowled out for 133 in 18 overs.
Kapp (2-18) did the damage with the new ball, before off-spinner Erin Burns (3-5) cleaned up the tail.
The Hurricanes have now gone seven games without a win, with six losses and a washout since starting their season with back-to-back wins.
The Sixers move to second on the ladder with five wins from seven matches.
To come this weekend:
Thunder v Sixers, Drummoyne Oval | Friday 7.10pm AEDT
Strikers v Stars, Nuriootpa | Saturday 2pm ACDT (2.30pm AEDT)
Thunder v Heat, Drummoyne Oval | Saturday 7.10pm AEDT
Scorchers v Heat, Drummoyne Oval | Sunday 10am AEDT
Sixers v Renegades, Drummoyne Oval | Sunday 2.10pm AEDT
The Big Weekend action moves to Sydney's Drummoyne Oval, where the Thunder will meet cross-town rivals Sydney Sixers under lights on Friday night, before taking on the Heat the following night.
On Sunday, the Scorchers play the Heat before the Sixers take on the Renegades in a replay of last year's epic semi-final.
Elsewhere, the Strikers and Stars head to the Barossa, for a match in Nuriootpa on Saturday.