ON FIRE: Heat openers Beth Mooney and Grace Harris talk between overs during the Women's Big Bash League match against the Melbourne Stars at The Gabba.
ON FIRE: Heat openers Beth Mooney and Grace Harris talk between overs during the Women's Big Bash League match against the Melbourne Stars at The Gabba. JONO SEARLE

Mooney on Harris' record breaking WBBL century

CRICKET: Grace Harris's huge six over long-on delivered her record-breaking Women's Big Bash League century in Brisbane Heat's big win against Melbourne Stars, but it was the highlight before that highlight that almost ended in tears.

With the Heat needing one more run to beat the Stars at the Gabba on Wednesday, Harris, sitting on 95, lofted a ball to the outfield.

She set off for the winning run, but when she reached the other end her opening partner Beth Mooney hadn't moved.

"When you play like she was you deserve the personal milestone, the accolades and all that come with it,” Mooney said. "You can't pass it up.”

Mooney sent her back to the strikers' end. Three balls later, Harris smashed a six off leg-spinner Alana King to bring up the fastest century in WBBL's four-year history: 101 not out from just 42 balls.

"I was more nervous she'd be caught,” Mooney, who scored 28 runs as the Heat easily chased the Stars' 132-run total, said. "I'd told her that we weren't running again and she finally got there in the end.”

That 10-wicket win, the Heat's third out of five games this season, lifted Brisbane to third on the table.

More importantly, it lifted the side's net run rate 1.038 - the best in the competition.

"We definitely look at the net run rate towards the end of the season so it is important,” Mooney said. "God help me if those few dot balls hurt us at the end of the season.

"I'd love to be part of a Fire or Heat team who makes the finals before the last game.”

Mooney, the former Cavaliers junior who was crowned the Heat's most valuable player for three straight years, and is the reigning female domestic cricketer of the year, is ninth in terms of runs scored this WBBL season.

She has scored 145 runs in five innings, her first-round 63 not out against Adelaide Strikers her best return, and has only been dismissed twice.

"I haven't batted as well as I would've liked but three wins and two losses from five games is a good spot,” Mooney said.

"We've got a couple of important games against the Sixers coming up so that will be a challenge.”

The ladder-leading Sixers, who have won four of five games, will host the Heat in back-to-back games at Sydney's Hurstville Oval on Saturday and Sunday.

The Heat face a lineup featuring the most in-form Australian cricketer this summer in Ellyse Perry, who has scored 316 runs in five games, who has three half-centuries and one unbeaten century to her name, and has been dismissed just twice this WBBL season.

Mooney said it wouldn't be easy - not that there are any easy games in the WBBL.

"The gap is closing, you can see that in how close the games are,and that's exactly what you want the WBBL to be,” she said.



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