Mooney makes most of new WBBL finals system

25 Nov 2021 | 06:47 | Cricket

Despite Perth Scorcher Beth Mooney’s initial hesitation towards the new Weber WBBL finals system, the batter says the break is well deserved

Perth Scorchers opener Beth Mooney initially had her doubts about the new Weber WBBL finals system, but as she enjoys a six-day break ahead of Saturday’s decider, she admits she is now a convert.

The Scorchers finished on top of the table and earned direct entry into the WBBL|07 decider, gaining an extended break to rest and recuperate while their rivals play off in the mid-week finals.

Their opponent – which will be one of the Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat or Melbourne Renegades, will have played either one or two elimination finals leading up to the decider.

Some believe the team who enters the final as match-hardened will have the advantage of momentum, but Mooney disagrees.

“I think it is an absolute advantage to finish first,” she said.

“At the start of the season I thought it was a bit of an unfair advantage, but now that we’re at the top I think it’s absolutely deserved for the team that finishes first.

“I said to Shell (coach Shelley Nitschke) the other day I think I’ve only got one game left in me, so it’s lucky we’re not playing a semi-final.

“We’ve earnt the right to have a few days off. It’s such a long tournament, you have to take those moments you can to take a break.

“For the girls to sleep in their own beds and get back into their normal routine, I have no doubt will have an impact on how they turn up on Saturday.”

Mooney plundered a season-high 528 runs at an average of 52.80 and strike-rate of 132 during the season, combining with Sophie Devine to form the most dangerous opening pairing in the league.

The duo loom as key players in the Scorchers’ hopes of winning a maiden WBBL crown, and Mooney hopes a win in Saturday’s final will help spark the start of a dynasty at the Perth Scorchers.

The Scorchers are yet to win a WBBL title, but they’re hoping it’s a case of third time lucky after finishing on top of the table and earning direct entry into the decider.

Perth’s first two grand final appearances ended in back-to-back losses to Sydney Sixers in WBBL|02 and |03, but they will enter the latest instalment as favourites given they will be playing at home in front of a huge crowd.

“Whatever way it goes it’s a proud moment to be part of the Scorchers at the moment,” Mooney said.

“Hopefully after Saturday we can talk about starting a sort of dynasty with the Perth Scorchers and creating a bit of a legacy of players that know how to win games and know how to win tournaments.”

WA Cricket are hopeful of luring more than 42,000 people to the match in order to set an attendance record for a women’s sporting event in Perth.