The score: Melbourne Stars 4-167 (Kevin Pietersen 74, Peter Handscomb 41; Mohammad Nabi 2-15) defeated Melbourne Renegades 9-144 (Dwayne Bravo 26; Jackson Coleman 3-27, Daniel Worrall 2-25)
Match in a tweet: Stars break their duck as Pietersen puts the Rengades to the sword and showcases his class with five massive sixes #BBL07
The hero: Kevin Pietersen crunched a magnificent 74 in a player-of-the-match display to spearhead the Melbourne Stars’ triumph over their arch-rivals at Etihad Stadium. With the Stars all but out of finals contention and the 37-year-old announcing this season will be his last in the BBL, Pietersen showed his unquestionable class during an action-packed 45-ball knock that included five sixes. The Englishman took a liking to evergreen spinner Brad Hogg, depositing three of his deliveries over the rope as the Stars posted their best score of BBL|07 and claimed their first win of the tournament. It was also Pietersen’s first half-century from five innings this season and the decorated batsman will be hungry to sign off on a high.
Pietersen was also on fire in the field, snaring a brilliant catch at extra cover to remove Renegades danger man Tom Cooper. The catch left the Renegades wobbling at 4-56 in the 10th over.
The support cast: Peter Handscomb (41 from 37 balls) and Glenn Maxwell (31 not out from 16) added vital runs for the Stars in support of kingpin Pietersen. After they lost Ben Dunk in the first over, Handscomb and Pietersen produced a 110-run stand to lay a strong platform. Left-arm paceman Jackson Coleman then ran through the Renegades’ top order, grabbing the wickets of Marcus Harris, Tim Ludeman and Cooper on his way to figures of 3-27 from four overs in just his third BBL appearance.
The consolation effort: Mohammad Nabi finished a successful stint with the Melbourne Renegades with tidy figures of 2-15 from four overs. The 33-year-old off-spinner from Afghanistan finished with eight wickets from seven games at 18.62 apiece and conceded only 5.76 runs per over to underline his effectiveness. Nabi departs due to national duties and will be replaced by West Indian Kieron Pollard.
The catch: This absolute screamer from Maxwell – one of four he took on a productive night – ended Ludeman’s stay at the crease…
The shot: Australia great Ricky Ponting described this strike from the stand-in Melbourne Renegades skipper Dwayne Bravo as “incredible”, with Channel Ten’s Gus the Goose measuring the blow at 103m. Is this the shot of the tournament?
The victim: Dunk has experienced a horror BBL|07 in his first campaign with the Melbourne Stars. The left-hander topped all comers in BBL|06 with 364 runs for the Adelaide Strikers and also logged a season-high 395 runs in BBL|03 with Hobart Hurricanes. From six innings this summer, Dunk has been dismissed for single figures five times and has just 59 runs at 9.8 for the tournament. Tonight he was trapped lbw by Mohammad Nabi for a first-ball duck.
The stat: Pietersen became the 12th player to reach 1000 BBL runs during his superb half-century for the Stars, achieving the milestone in 30 matches. Pietersen has 1043 runs to his name at an average of 38.62 since joining the Stars in 2014. The 37-year-old has announced this season will be his last in the BBL.
The silly point: Ponting was spot on again in this interesting discussion with Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine…
The Fantasy wrap: Pietersen ($56,200) topped the rankings with 106, while Nabi ($84,500) posted 105 and Maxwell ($80,600) 99.
The next stops: The Stars (1-5) will tackle the winless Sydney Sixers at the MCG on Tuesday, while the Renegades (4-3) have plenty of time to regroup ahead of their next match against the Adelaide Strikers at Etihad on January 22.