The seventh edition of Big Bash League (BBL) started with a bang as the first game of the tournament was decided on the last ball when Shane Watson led Sydney Thunder’s beat the Sydney Sixers led by Moises Henriques. In the second game, Marcus Stoinis’ heroics failed to take his side to the winning side. Earlier handy half-centuries from Joe Burns and Alex Ross, quick-fire knocks from skipper Brendon McCullum and Ben Cutting helped the Heat post a huge total of 206.
Earlier Melbourne Stars captain after winning the toss asked his counterpart, McCullum, to set a target first. He teed off in the third over smacking 3 fours and six off Scott Boland over. Heazlett made the matters worse for Boland by picking another four off the last ball. Michael Beer broke the promising stand between skipper and Heazlett while Stoinis sent the Heat skipper back to the pavilion in his first over.
After a steady start, Joe Burns targeted the Stars’ skipper John Hasting’s over where he collected 23 runs which included 4 fours and a six and helped the side cross the 100-run mark in the 11th over. Burns raised his half-century off just 27 balls when he deposited Stoinis over the boundary. He got out next ball when he failed to read the off-cutter.
Ben Cutting’s firey 35 runs of just 18 deliveries that included 3 fours and 2 sixes helped the Heat go past 200. He got out while trying to sneak a double but was caught short after Glenn Maxwell’s rocket throw reached quicker. Last ball boundary from Lalor took the Heat’s score to 206.
Chasing the big target, Ben Dunk fell on the second ball of the innings. England star Kevin Pietersen was caught inches above the ground by Brendon McCullum. Maxwell and Wright were sent back to the pavilion by Pakistani leg-spinner, 19-year-old Shadab Khan who made his debut in the BBL.
Stoinis who picked 3 wickets with the ball in the hand, combined with James Faulkner for a massive 100-run partnership. The all-rounder brought up his half-century in just 26 balls when he smashed Cutting for 2 fours and 2 sixes and kept the side in the hunt of the huge target. Faulkner remained unbeaten for 47 runs off 38 balls.
Stoinis continued his efforts with James Faulkner at the other end. He got run out just 1 short of the three figures mark after getting dropped off the same ball. Stars fell 15 runs short of the target posted by Brisbane Heat.