Southern Stars opener Beth Mooney has blasted her maiden WBBL century to help guide the Brisbane Heat to a tense three-wicket victory over the Sydney Thunder in Cairns.
The Heat keeper smashed 14 fours and a six in her stunning 102 off 55 balls before Laura Harris hit the winning boundary with three deliveries left as the Heat chased down the Thunder's impressive 7-171 at Cazaly's Stadium and jumped to second spot on the ladder.
Grace Harris's quickfire 13 at the top and a pair of 15s to captain Kirby Short and Jess Jonassen were the closest anyone got to the dominant Mooney, who was the difference between the two sides.
But when Mooney, who had gone 12 innings without a half century since hitting 63 not out in the Heat's season opener, was stumped off Harmanpreet Kaur (2-23) in the 17th over, the Thunder suddenly looked to have the upper hand.
But a poor 19th over from Kaur which went for 13, including a no-ball, meant the Heat required six off the last over and Harris didn't hold back driving Nicola Carey down the ground to raise victory.
Earlier, the Thunder's Ashes-winning captain Rachael Haynes stroked 57 and West Indian Stafanie Taylor bludgeoned 43 off 23 balls to put the visitors in a strong position.
Opener Rachel Priest set an aggressive tone by thumping 21 off just nine balls and skipper Alex Blackwell hit 28 off 23 before being stumped after overbalancing during a reverse sweep.
Haynes and Taylor put on 62 before both fell to Sammy-Jo Johnson (2-37). Delissa Kimmince (2-23) and Grace Harris (2-25) also impressed with the ball before Mooney dazzled everyone with the bat.
"A few came out of the screws for the first time this season," said Mooney, the Heat's second centurion this summer after opening partner Grace Harris tonned up against the Melbourne Stars.
"It was a really good batting wicket. I knew that if I batted deep enough and long enough, we'd get over the line. We're in a really good place leading into the finals."
Australian Associated Press