A masterful century from star opener Beth Mooney and an even bowling performance powered the Scorchers to a 42-run victory over Sydney Thunder at CitiPower Centre this afternoon.
Magic Mooney Brings Down Thunder
After losing her superstar opening partner Sophie Devine (4) early, Mooney (101no) almost single-handedly steered the Scorchers to a competitive 4-159 at the Junction Oval on Sunday.
In reply, the resurgent Thunder fell to 3-18 by the end of the powerplay, having not dropped any wickets there in their previous seven games.
Young quick Chloe Ainsworth (2-8) set the carnage in motion with back-to-back wickets and things only spiralled further out of control from there. The Thunder finished at 8-117.
The loss was only the Thunder's second of the tournament and relegated them to second spot on the ladder behind the Scorchers.
It was only in the twilight of the Scorchers' innings that Mooney enjoyed a steady partnership as in-form Hannah Darlington (2-26) spearheaded the Thunder attack to keep her Perth teammates quiet.
Chloe Piparo (22no from 16 balls) did well to help Mooney steady the ship following the loss of Amy Jones (7) just as Perth looked primed to take the power surge.
Mooney had played a patient innings but smacked Sammy-Jo Johnson for four fours from five deliveries in the final over to snatch the ascendancy for the Scorchers.
On 97, Mooney pulled stand-in Thunder captain Johnson past deep mid-wicket for four to bring up an unbeaten ton on the last ball of the innings and the 61st delivery she faced.
Mooney is now the only player to have passed 400 total runs in all nine iterations of the WBBL and is the current edition's second-highest run-scorer, only one run behind Devine.
The Thunder fell to 3-18 by the end of the power play after Ainsworth snared star imports Chamari Athapaththu and Marizanne Kapp in consecutive balls.
The Scorchers successfully reviewed an LBW shout on in-form Athapaththu (10) before Piparo caught out-of-sorts Kapp for a golden duck.
Rested with hamstring soreness, captain Heather Knight watched on helplessly as the Thunder batting order fell to 5-33 when Devine (2-27) caught and bowled Claire Moore.
Only Australian representative Phoebe Litchfield (45) offered resistance at first drop so when she was caught in the deep from Amy Edgar's bowling (3-18), the Scorchers appeared home.
Off the back of three consecutive road victories, the Scorchers surge to the top of the WBBL|09 ladder, ahead of back-to-back clashes against Sydney Sixers (Thursday November 16, North Sydney Oval) and Sydney Thunder (Saturday November 18, Cricket Central) next week.