SYDNEY: Andre Russell and Glenn Maxwell played brilliant innings to help Melbourne Stars defeat Sydney Thunder by six wickets in their fixture of Big Bash League.
Stars, chasing 152, were off to a poor start, losing their opener Joe Clarke with just 13 runs on the board. Clarke bagged a four-ball duck. Marcus Stoinis and Nick Larkin, however, appeared solid but could not hold on for long as Larkin fell short, scoring just six of 11 balls.
Stoinis, however, played a sensible inning and scored 31 off 30 balls, including three boundaries alongside his captain, Maxwell, who scored quickfire 40 off 25 deliveries, putting his side on to the driving seat. He smashed three boundaries and two sixes.
Both the batters, dismissed on the consecutive ball, and the momentum appeared to have shifted the Sixers’ way but, Russell went berserk and smashed unbeaten 42 off 21 balls, laced with one boundary and five sixes. His valiant innings helped Stars successfully chase down the total in the 18th over.
For Thunder, Tanveer Sangha bagged two wickets, while Ben Cutting and Nathan McAndrew each struck out a batter.
Batting first, Thunder’s batters struggled from the beginning and were halted by the collapse earlier in their top order, losing four wickets for 65 runs. Alex Hales, however, showed resistance and could not go deep, scored a gritty 28 off 21 balls, including four boundaries and a six.
Alex Ross, however, played a valiant inning, scoring 77 off 49 balls, laced with four boundaries and as many sixes. He remained the top-scorer for his side. The rest of the batters could not go big and Thunder, in the end, restricted to 151/5 in 20 overs.
For Stars, Qais Ahmed and Brody Couch took two wickets each, while Maxwell struck out a batter.
Following this victory, Stars have now claimed the third position on the points table, while Thunder is at sixth.