The Melbourne Stars made it two wins from two in BBL 2020-21 as they beat the Sydney Thunder in a comprehensive victory. Batting first, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell powered the team to 169-8 in the first innings.
In response, Sydney Thunder seemed to have the chase in control for as long as Alex Hales and Callum Ferguson were at the crease. However, the duo’s departure triggered a calamitous collapse, with the team eventually losing by 22 runs.
BBL 2020: How the first innings panned out
Batting first, the Melbourne Stars started the third game of BBL 2020-21 strongly as the team came flying out of the blocks. Both Marcus Stoinis and Andre Fletcher looked in good touch, with the openers scoring boundaries at ease.
However, a change in bowling worked for Sydney Thunder, with Tanveer Sangha (4-0-26-2) trapping Andre Fletcher LBW to draw first blood.
However, Glenn Maxwell carried his recent international form into the BBL, and Marcus Stoinis took on aggressor's role. The pace-bowling all-rounder made a brilliant 37 ball 61, which included six fours and two sixes before he found Daniel Sams in the deep off Jonathan Cook’s bowling.
Stonis’ departure seemed to have rocked the Melbourne Stars’ boat, with the team not able to stitch together a solid partnership after the Aussie star was dismissed.
After Glenn Maxwell (39 off 29 balls) was sent packing with just a little more than five overs to go, the rest of the batsmen couldn’t capitalize on the strong start given by the top order.
Daniel Sams (3-0-24-2) and Chris Green (4-0-42-2) were the pick of the bowlers at the death, as the batting side managed to score just 36 runs for the loss of four wickets in the last 5.2 overs, with Melbourne setting their BBL rivals a target of 170.
BBL 2020-21: How did Sydney Thunder manage their chase?
Just like their counterparts, Sydney Thunder came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders, scoring 20 in the first two overs. Even Usman Khawaja's departure didn’t slow them down, with Alex Hales (41-ball 46) and Callum Ferguson stitching together a 69-run partnership for the second wicket.
After Hales was dismissed by Clint Hinchliffe, Callum Ferguson (35 ball 54) departed soon after, with Liam Hatcher getting his first BBL 2020-21 wicket. With the equation reading 54 from 30 balls, it was the Power Surge that brought all the death-overs action.
Liam Hatcher (4-0-28-3) bowled a brilliant 17th over, conceding just four runs and picking up two wickets to send Daniel Sams and Ben Cutting back to the pavilion.
From thereon, it was just a matter of game management as Melbourne Stars showed great temperament to grind out the victory. Adam Zampa (4-0-10-2) closed the game with a stellar last over, capping off an impressive individual performance for the leggie.
The win means that the Melbourne Stars go top of the table with eight points from two games. The loss for Sydney Thunder in their first match of BBL 2020-21 fixture means that the side will be looking for its first win of the season when they take on Brisbane Heat on Monday, December 14.