MELBOURNE: Melbourne Stars beat Sydney Sixers by four runs in a nail-biting contest of the Big Bash League at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.
Adam Zampa bowled the game’s final over, successfully defending 11 runs to aid his team stun the Sixers by four runs in a thriller.
Chasing 166, Sixers were off to a poor start. The opening pair could only provide a 20-runs foundation, losing two wickets for just 29 runs. Matthew Gilkes and Sam Billings, however, showed the character and batter sensibly to pull their side back into the game.
Gilkes and Billings recorded a brilliant 89-runs partnership before Billings dismissed on 43. Soon after, Daniel Sams was also dismissed after scoring just one. Gilkes tried to fight back, but, he too, got dismissed and the Stars slipped to 135/5.
The Sixers’ lower order could not go big in the end, eventually, losing the match by just four runs.
Gilkes top-scored with 56 off 49 balls, including four boundaries and a six.
For Stars, Nathan Coulter-Nile took two wickets, while Zampa and Brody Couch each claimed a wicket.
Batting first, Stars too, were off to a poor start, losing their first two wickets for just 31 runs. Their openers, Marcus Stoinis and Joe Clarke, both scored 13.
After a poor start, Glenn Maxwell, along with Nick Larkin, showed fightback but Maxwell could not hold on for long and dismissed on 16. Larkin, however, then partnered strongly with Hilton Cartwright, adding 80 runs into the team’s total. The pair batted brilliantly to help their side post a decent total of 165 in 20 overs.
Cartwright scored 42 off 30 balls, including three boundaries and two sixes, followed by their top scorer, Larkin, who smashed unbeaten 52 off 43 balls laced with five boundaries.
For Sixers, Tanveer Sangha claimed two wickets, while Nathan McAndrew struck out a batter.