A breathtaking display of big hitting saw Stoinis register 97* from 55 deliveries, carrying his bat as the Stars held on to win by 10 runs, just two days after losing to the Hurricanes at the same venue.
Hurricanes keeper Ben McDermott’s blistering 91 from 58 left the Hurricanes in with a chance of snatching an unlikely win at the death before he fell to a spectacular catch from Andre Fletcher – one of two fantastic takes in the final four overs from the West Indian.
Replacement player Sam Rainbird was the standout Stars bowler in his second game for the club, snaring 2/22 against his former side.
Welcome to the Stoin show
Stoinis was on from the very first delivery, dispatching spinner Johan Botha out of the ground with a magnificent slog-sweep, forcing officials to deliver a new ball to the Hurricanes in the second over.
It was a sign of things to come later in the innings but as wickets fell around him, the powerful opener remained patient reaching 32 off 31 deliveries.
Stoinis then went into overdrive after the 10-over break, clubbing a rapid 65 off his next 24 balls.
Five of his seven maximums came in the back-half of the innings, bringing up his half-century with a monster strike onto the hill.
On 79 entering the final over, Stoinis smashed 18 runs off former Star Scott Boland,
Needing a six off the last ball a fairy-tale century, Stoinis was unable to get under a yorker and finished three runs shy of the milestone in a remarkable knock.
Spiceman's eventful day
Andre Fletcher is the living definition of entertainment.
An eventful yet brief innings from Andre Fletcher saw the West Indian race to 10 off three deliveries with two edges for four.
His luck turned for the worst the next delivery, given out caught behind from a fuller deliver when he appeared to hit the ground.
Fletcher’s frustration was clear after the dismissal, shaking his head in dismay on the sidelines.
But at the death the ‘Spiceman’ had the opportunity for redemption.
Fletcher raced to a lofted cover drive from Colin Ingram and took flight, hanging onto a screamer in the outfield.
He upstaged that effort with an epic diving catch from a ball that was smoked by the dangerous McDermott into the deep.
In characteristic Fletcher fashion, he celebrated both of his remarkable catches with some funky dance moves.
A tale of two halves
At 3/63 halfway through their innings, the Stars were behind the eight-ball as the Hurricanes began to take control with some tight bowling.
In the blink of an eye the score was 3/109 as West Indian Nicholas Pooran and Stoinis accelerated, changing the face of the innings by taking 21 runs off the first over of the Power Surge.
After Pooran departed for 26 the next over, ending a 60-run stand off 35 deliveries, new batsman Hilton Cartwright eased his way to double figures and then joined the party.
Moved to number six, Cartwright proved to be a magnificent foil to Stoinis, powering three big sixes and finishing with 36 from 24 balls.
The result was a scorching 120 runs from the final 10 overs which gave the Stars the ascendancy.
— Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) January 4, 2021
Rainbird's tight spell
Up against former teammates D’Arcy Short and McDermott, Sam Rainbird was assigned the difficult task of bowling during the powerplay.
Rainbird performed with aplomb against the power hitters, conceding a miserly eight runs from his first two overs as the Hurricanes managed 19 runs from their first four.
The paceman then struck with the crucial wicket of Short as he tried to lift the scoring rate.
Rainbird’s work at the beginning of the innings helped the Stars secure the Bash Boost point as the Hurricanes fell three runs shy of the target.
His final over late in the innings claimed the wicket of Colin Ingram at a critical time when the Hurricanes had all the momentum.