Mooney's magic form a mystery

Top order run-machine is enjoying a prolific run of form for Australia in 2017

Australia opener Beth Mooney can’t pinpoint exactly what’s clicked for her over the last six months but whatever it is, it’s working.

Mooney is averaging 74 from four one-day internationals in 2017, having scored consecutive knocks of 100, 57, 69 and 70 and stamped her authority at the top of the order alongside Nicole Bolton.

Having now made the step from being a consistent performer for Queensland in domestic cricket to replicating that form at international level is a big breakthrough for Mooney, repaying the faith of selectors who stuck with her after a lean T20 series against New Zealand in February.

Quick Single: Bolton, bowlers blow away Windies

Her opening partnership with Nicole Bolton has also sparked a transformation in former opener Elyse Villani, who is similarly thriving since moving down the order to No.5.

"I wish I knew the answer to that," Mooney laughed when asked what to identify the genesis of her current prolific form.

"I’m not really sure. I just really enjoy batting and batting for a long time.

"It’s really nice the vibe around the group at the moment, everyone is really happy for each other’s successes and I think that hopes as well."

Brilliant Bolton puts Windies to sword

Mooney appeared to be furious with herself when bowled by West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor on 70 on Monday, when Australia were cruising towards their target of 205.

The opportunity to score a second ODI century had gone begging, but Mooney said she was more disappointed not to have seen the chase through to the finish alongside Bolton, who finished unbeaten on 107.

"We spoke about it when we got to the 150 partnership, to try and nail it shut and finish the job with both of us out there," she said. 

"So I was a bit disappointed that I had to led Meg (Lanning) bat and also disappointed I wasn’t out there for Bolts and her hundred.

"It was an amazing partnership and one I’ll look back fondly on."

Mooney, Aussies ready for Sri Lanka

Bolton and Mooney haven’t made a habit of racing out of the blocks as an opening partnership and it proved the case again on Monday, when they scored 39 from the first 10 overs.

That mattered little once they got on top of the Windies attack and accelerated, with the team run rate peaking at 5.7 before Mooney fell with Australia 34 runs shy of victory.

Commentators predict painful blow

It’s an approach that has been backed by captain Lanning, while Mooney said the left-handers, who share similar cool and calm dispositions at the crease, had the confidence to work through dangerous new-ball spells without getting bogged down.

"Obviously, the main threat is early and the first 10 overs are crucial in getting the team off to a good start," she said.

"All our plans are around nullifying the main threat, which is the opening two bowlers of any team we play.

"Bolts and I try and take that role on and really own it, to make sure no one else has to do it.

"We’re okay with facing a few dots and maybe not going at five or six an over like we do later in the innings.

"The great thing about batting with (Bolton) is she’s really calm and even if we do face a few dots or a maiden, it’s okay because we can catch up in the end."

The Australian squad was restricted to training indoors on Wednesday as heavy rain fell in Bristol, but drier weather is forecast for Thursday’s second group game against Sri Lanka which kicks off at 10.30am (7.30 AEST).

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Australia World Cup squad: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (vc), Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

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