Melbourne Stars 7 for 167 (Maxwell 83, Zahir 1-29) beat Brisbane Heat 8 for 145 (Banton 64, Zampa 3-30) by 22 runs
After a short break from cricket, Glenn Maxwell returned with a brilliant 83 to spur Melbourne Stars’ 22-run victory over winless Brisbane Heat at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. Heat’s chase of 168 was on track with Tom Banton plundering a 35-ball 64, but his dismissal in the 10th over flipped the momentum.
It was an impressive victory for the Stars whose top-order struggled after being sent in. Maxwell, however, came to the rescue with a typically belligerent knock powered by five sixes. He almost single-handedly propelled his team to a total that proved to be enough.
All six bowlers from Heat took one wicket each, but they should be buoyed by an encouraging display from Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan, who mostly escaped Maxwell’s wrath.
The Heat, perennial BBL underachievers, are in an early hole with two straight losses while the Stars started the season well as they look to regroup after last season’s meltdown in the final against crosstown rivals Melbourne Renegades.
Stars top-order fail to fire
After opener Nic Maddinson fell cheaply to part-timer Matthew Renshaw, Hilton Cartwright had a golden opportunity to start his new chapter with a bang. Backed at No. 3 by new coach David Hussey, he played several sparkling drives out of the longer format handbook, but his composure didn’t last long.
Reprieved in the fifth over by Josh Lalor, Cartwright’s luck ran out when he miscued a slog in the next over and was well caught by Max Bryant for 18.
Left out of the ODI tour to India, Marcus Stoinis also had a point to prove. He may have hoped to rekindle his BBL prowess after being one of the top performers last season, but fell for 16 when he holed out in similar fashion to Cartwright.
When ‘keeper Jimmy Peirson threw the stumps down and ran out Peter Handscomb for 20, the Stars wobbled at 4 for 74 at the midpoint.
More to follow
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth and writes on sports for the Guardian and mailerreport
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