A Kevin Pietersen-less Melbourne Stars earned their first victory of the 2015/16 Big Bash League (BBL) as they beat the Sydney Sixers by five wickets at the Sydney Cricket Ground. An all-round performance by the Stars ensured that they had a comfortable outing at Sydney to give them their first points of the season.
After losing the first two matches, the Stars finally played to their expectations as they restricted the Sixers to a modest total of 139 in their 20 overs after the Sixers had won the toss and opted to bat first.
Although Sixers lost both their openers cheaply, Nic Maddinson and captain Moises Henriques stringed together a 60-run partnership before Maddinson was bowled by Adam Zampa.
However, the turning point of the match was probably when Henriques had to leave the field retired hurt due to an injury when he was 41*. Henriques, who has been vital for the Sixers so far, would definitely have made a difference in how the Sixers finished their innings.
Jordan Silk contributed a useful 35 off 28 balls to help the Sixers reach 139.
The Sixers were outperformed by a great bowling display by the Stars as all the Stars’ bowlers, except for James Faulkner, picked up a wicket at least. Michael Beer was exceptionally economical as he gave away only 16 runs in his four overs and picked up the important wicket of Michael Lumb.
The Stars had a similar start to the Sixers as they lost both their openers for single-digit scores. However, Glenn Maxwell and Peter Handscomb put in an 83-run stand that allowed the Stars to be in a comfortable position to win the game.
Both Maxwell and Handscomb earned well-deserved fifties before captain David Hussey came to the crease and finished things off for his team with a 15-ball 24. Tom Triffit, who was brought in as a replacement for Pietersen, scored the winning runs for the Stars with a boundary.
Glenn Maxwell was named as man-of-the-match for his 36-ball 50 and for his bowling figures of 1/35. Handscomb, who was promoted to No. 4 in place of the absent Pietersen, seemed to enjoy his role and played a good knock to score 52 off 40 balls.
With their first win, the Stars now move up to 4th place in the table and the Sixers move down from the top of the table to the second position.
Brief scores: Melbourne Stars 143/5, 18.4 overs (Handscomb 52, Maxwell 50; Bollinger 2/31) won against Sydney Sixers (toss) 139/6, 20 overs (Henriques 41 (retd hurt), Silk 35; Hilfenhaus 2/25, Beer 1/16) by five wickets.
Watching @BBLofficial with kids n they r shouting maxi maxi maxi— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 27, 2015
Published 27 Dec 2015, 16:31 IST
Common maxi hit reverse sweep @BBLofficial— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 27, 2015