Perth Scorchers entrench themselves in WBBL top four after commanding 10-wicket victory over Melbourne Stars

Headshot of Eliza Reilly
Eliza ReillyThe West Australian
Alana King celebrates the wicket of Elyse Villani with teammates.
Camera IconAlana King celebrates the wicket of Elyse Villani with teammates. Credit: Sarah Reed/Getty Images

The Perth Scorchers have moved to outright second on the WBBL standings after a commanding 10-wicket win over Melbourne Stars, inspired by their star-studded bowling attack.

Perth now boast the current Golden Bat and Golden Arm, stars Beth Mooney and Lily Mills combining to steer the Scorchers home.

Handed the ball after Melbourne won the toss, Perth needed only two overs to find their first breakthrough as the Stars only just eclipsed their lowest figures of 9-85 to finish with 9-97.

Opening pair Mooney and Sophie Devine comfortably steered Perth home within 11 overs, Mooney recovering from a quiet couple of matches to an unbeaten 57.

Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney chased down the total with ease.
Camera IconSophie Devine and Beth Mooney chased down the total with ease. Credit: Sarah Reed/Getty Images

In-form quick Marizanne Kapp designed the demise of Australian captain Meg Lanning in the second over for one run and by the end of the powerplay Melbourne were languishing at 3-20.

Dangerous former Scorchers Elyse Villani (16) was sent packing by former Melbourne Star Alana King in the eighth over, beating Villani’s bat as Melbourne lost 4-22.

Kapp capped off her day with the stunning run out of Linsey Smith, releasing quickly from deep in the field as Star after Star struggled to remain at the crease.

Heather Graham watches on as Marizanne Kapp runs out Linsey Smith.
Camera IconHeather Graham watches on as Marizanne Kapp runs out Linsey Smith. Credit: Sarah Reed/Getty Images

Kim Garth knocked a team-high 31 but was eventually dismissed by Scorchers captain Sophie Devine who produced a stunning 2-11 before guiding Perth home with the bat.

King and Heather Graham were also busy, finishing with 2-18 and 2-19 respectively.

And if you needed any indication of just how deep Perth’s bowling lineup runs, WBBL leading wicket Lily Mills wasn’t required until the 14th over.

The current Golden Arm finished her three over spell with her 16th wicket of the tournament, dismissing Nicole Faltum on her first ball caught and bowled.

Mooney said an analysis of the pitch at Karen Rolton Oval had the Scorchers worried but the class of Perth’s bowling attack eventually prevailed.

“Particularly on the stumps, it looked like it wasn’t bouncing much and it was keeping slightly low,” Mooney said.

“Being out there and looking at it, it didn’t look like the wicket that had been rolled out yesterday and I think this game will be really interesting in the context of competition and tomorrow.

“I think the bowlers did a really good job using the facilities.

“We’ve got the right balance with our bowling line-up at the moment and obviously Soph is back bowling which really helps to. Taneale Peschel has come good as well towards the back end of the tournament after stumbling a bit at the start.

“It’s nice to see our bowlers grab some momentum and really run with it.”

Perth dominated from start to finish.
Camera IconPerth dominated from start to finish. Credit: Sarah Reed/Getty Images

Mooney was clinical with the bat, knocking her second half century of the tournament despite posting just six and one runs in her previous two innings.

Combined with Devine (35 not out), the Scorchers started steady and found the boundary regularly beyond that as Mooney hit the winning runs.

“As senior players and openers especially in T20 cricket, it’s a good opportunity for Soph and I to settle the dressing room and get us off to a flyer and grab a bit of momentum,” Mooney said.

“Soph and I spoke earlier in the day that it looked like the teams that made big scores out there had gotten off to a steady start. It’s been an awesome time batting with Soph and I hope it continues.”

Perth will look to make it a three-game winning streak on Thursday when they face Sydney Thunder at Karen Rolton Oval.

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