Nick Larkin’s unbeaten 52 & a flawless final over under pressure from Adam Zampa to defend 11 against Sydney Thunder guided Melbourne Stars to their first win of the 11th edition of the BBL at the MCG on Friday.
Sent in to bat first Melbourne Stars opener Marcus Stoinis scored one ball one-13 runs before a mix-up in the middle cut short his innings. Captain Glenn Maxwell too got dismissed thereby leaving the Stars reeling at 61 for 3 at the halfway mark.
However, Larkin came on board & took the charge of Stars innings. He smashed a well-composed 52 runs off 43 balls to guide Stars to excel. Hilton Cartwright & Larkin stitched a partnership of 80 in just eight overs. Cartwright smashed sixes of Melbourne Stars batting innings along with three massive boundaries to make a vital 30 ball 42 before dismissing in the 18th over.,
Stars overseas singing Andre Russell dived in with a worthy 17 off nine balls taking them to a competitive total of 165 for 4. Tanveer Sangha was the pick of the bowlers, returning 2 for 29 from his four overs.
On the other hand, Sydney Thunders’s chase got off to a poor start thanks to Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile who could score runs only in the powerplay. However, an 89-run stand between Matthew Gilkes (56 off 49) and Sam Billings (43 off 31) dragged Thunder back in the contest.
Melbourne Stars initially struggled with the ball as Andre Russell conceded 40 runs in his quota of 12 overs in the secodn last over. That left Adam Zampa with the tough task of defending 10 runs in the final over. After conceding only five runs in the first four balls, Zampa saw his captain Maxwell drop an absolute sitter to save Alex Ross and bring Ben Cutting on strike for the final ball, where the Thunder’s required just four run for a super over and six to win. The spinner fired in a flat legbreak wide off, the batter failed to hit the ball & Melbourne Stars fetched their first points of the season with a thriller last-ball win.
Melbourne Stars 165/4 in 20 overs (Nick Larkin 52*, Hilton Cartwright 42; Tanveer Sangha 2-29) beat Sydney Thunder 161/5 in 20 overs (Matthew Giles 56, Sam Billings 43; Nathan Coulter-Nile 2-27) by 4 runs