Stars lose out to Sixers in thriller | Melbourne Stars - BBL
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Stars lose out to Sixers in thriller

27 December 2020

A destructive display from Nicholas Pooran in his first BBL innings was unable to lift the Melbourne Stars to victory as the Sydney Sixers clinched a nail-biting one-wicket win with a ball to spare in a Big Bash thriller at Metricon Stadium.

Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars Full Match Highlights

 

Needing 23 from the final two overs, young gun Liam Hatcher, who snared 3/33 from four overs, stepped up to the plate to claim the vital breakthrough of Carlos Brathwaite before bowling Ben Dwarshuis and leaking just three runs from the penultimate over. 

The Sixers then successfully chased 20 runs off the final over with a ball to spare led by an inspired knock from Daniel Hughes, who piled on 96 runs off just 51 deliveries. 

Wickets fell at regular intervals in the Sixers’ innings after Billy Stanlake struck in the first over, but a quick-fire partnership between Hughes and Brathwaite late in the piece turned the tables in a match full of momentum swings. 

Earlier, a slow start saw the Stars at 4/49 in the ninth over when the Pooran partnered captain Glenn Maxwell at the crease, with their heroics enabling the Stars to reach a strong total of 5/193. 

The pair smashed the Sixers’ bowling attack to all parts in a rapid 125-run stand for the fifth wicket, Pooran hitting 65 runs at a meteoric 250 strike rate before holing out in the deep while Maxwell was the support act – a foreign role for the big-hitter - finishing 71 not out off 47 balls. 

The West Indian turned the game at that point in a blink of an eye, blasting 34 runs in a six-ball patch and reaching his half century off an eye-watering 17 deliveries – the fastest ever by a Stars player.

He hit eight sixes in all, the best of those being a mammoth 96-metre straight drive - one of the shots of the tournament so far. 

While Maxwell was upstaged by his partner, he still managed to clear the rope five times himself with his new Kookaburra Beast bat, including a massive six off the final ball of the innings. 

Nathan Coulter-Nile took 2/14 for the Stars while Adam Zampa also claimed two wickets in his return game. 

Gun fieldsman Hilton Cartwright and Glenn Maxwell were both sharp in the outfield taking two catches each.  

Ben Dunk was elevated to the top of the order in the absence of Marcus Stoinis, scoring 24 runs while wickets fell around him at the beginning of the innings. 

The Stars have a two-day turnaround before their clash with the Sydney Thunder in Canberra on Tuesday night.