Money on Mooney to shine in Women's Big Bash League
THE Perth Scorchers have put a target on Brisbane Heat star Beth Mooney.
Mooney is the scalp the Scorchers want the most in their Women's Big Bash League opener in Sydney on Sunday.
The third instalment of the WBBL was colourfully launched in Sydney yesterday and is set to be the biggest tournament in the competition's short history.
The Heat are expected to be contenders for the title and will clash with last summer's beaten finalists Perth, who have set their sights on Mooney.
Mooney, 23, was in sensational form for Australia during the recent T20 Ashes matches, racking up scores of 86 not out, 17 and 117 not out.
And the Scorchers have identified the wicketkeeper-batter as the key player in the Brisbane set up.
"Beth Mooney has been in incredible form," Perth's Elyse Villani said.
"The Heat have got some key players in their team we need to plan for.
"Hopefully we can keep their key players pretty quiet and get away with a win.
"We want to go one step better this year."
The Heat were knocked out of last summer's finals by the Scorchers, who went on to lose to the Sydney Sixers in the final.
Mooney was in Sydney to launch the tournament yesterday and said the Heat were determined to go all the way in 2017-18.
"The first season we just missed out on the semis," she said.
"We went one better last year and were really disappointed to go out of the tournament the way we did.
"The Scorchers have a really good list. They have some world class performers.
"They will be a really tough team to beat but Twenty20 is a fickle game and it can be anyone's day so hopefully we can get one up on them."
The Heat yesterday landed a major signing coup on the eve of the tournament in securing rising South African star Laura Wolvaardt to join West Indian Deandra Dottin as Brisbane's two international players.
Wolvaardt made her international debut at 16 while still at high school and was one of South Africa's best performers in the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup earlier this year, scoring 324 runs at an average of 64.8.
"Laura is a class act with the bat and certainly caught the eye during the World Cup this year so we jumped at the chance to secure her as an injury replacement for Grace (Harris)," Heat coach Peter McGiffin said.
"She's going to be starting a medical degree early next year which is an obvious priority, but the timing for her and us was right for the start of the WBBL and we're pleased she can be a part of the club."
The Heat play their first home game of the season against the Scorchers at Allan Border Field next Friday.
Brisbane Heat Squad: Jemma Barsby, Haidee Birkett, Tess Cooper, Deandra Dottin (international), Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Courtney Hill, Sammy Jo Johnson, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Georgia Prestwidge, Kirby Short (captain), Kara Sutherland, Laura Wolvaardt. ICC Rookie: Rumana Ahmed.