BBL 2016-17, Match 26 Review: Pietersen, Stoinis shines in Melbourne Stars victory

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Melbourne Stars
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PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 14: Kevin Pietersen and Marcus Stoinis of the Stars celebrate after reaching their fifty partnership during the Big Bash League match between the Perth Scorchers and the Melbourne Stars at WACA on January 14, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

Melbourne Stars rose to the top of the points table in BBL 6 by defeating the Perth Scorchers quite comprehensively by 7 wickets at the WACA today. Courtesy brilliant performance from the Stars’ bowlers, the hosts were reduced to 13/4 at one stage but useful lower order contributions from Andrew Tye, Ashton Agar and Tim Bresnan propelled their total to 134/7 in their allotted 20 overs. Given their horrendous start, it was a terrific comeback by the hosts. Rob Quiney got the Stars off to a flier and later it was the solid partnership between Kevin Pietersen and Marcus Stoinis which helped the visitors to chase down the target with 17 balls to spare.

Perth Scorchers captain Michael Klinger won the toss and opted to bat. The hosts got off to the worst possible start losing as many as 4 wickets in the first 4 overs. Left-arm spinner Michael Beer began proceedings and conceded only 3 runs in the 1st over which got the Melbourne Stars going. Ben Hilfenhaus who came into bowl the 2nd over removed captain Michael Klinger in the last delivery of the over which started a procession of sorts.

Perth Scorchers’ foreign recruit Ian Bell also fell cheaply to Michael Beer in the 3rd over followed by Cameron Bancroft in the same over. While Bell was foxed by a straighter delivery which struck him plumb in front, Bancroft too fell to a similar sort of a delivery. It was bowled at 100kmph and the wicket-keeper went for a slog sweep. He missed it altogether and the ball thudded onto his stumps.

There was no respite for the hosts as Shaun Marsh was the next batsman dismissed in the last delivery of the 4th over of the bowling of Scott Boland. It was a back of a length delivery on the pads and Marsh attempted a leg glance. It was a slightly uppish shot by Marsh which was caught on the 2nd attempt by Beer.

Ashton Turner and Andrew Tye looked to resurrect the innings but Turner too was dismissed in the 14th over to leave the hosts reeling at 78/6. After playing a useful hand of 42 Tye was dismissed in the 15th over by Hilfenhaus. Tye struck four fours and a solitary six during his 33 balls innings. With the score at 82/7, the hosts needed something out of the ordinary to push their total over 120 and it was exactly what transpired in the last 4 overs of the innings.

Ashton Agar and Tim Bresnan stitched together an invaluable 51 runs stand for the 9th wicket to take their total to 134/7 in their allotted 20 overs. While Agar scored 29 of 20 balls with 3 fours and a six, Tim Bresnan too remained undefeated on 20 of 15 deliveries.

Chasing a modest 135 to win, the Melbourne Stars began well with Rob Quiney looking in sublime touch. He began with a four of the last delivery of the opening over and followed it up with another in the next over. The southpaw then struck two consecutive boundaries of the bowling of Mitchell Johnson in the 3rd over and looked set for much more.

After hitting a boundary, Quiney’s opening partner Luke Wright was dismissed in the 4th over by Jhye Richardson with a great bouncer. It was bowled at 144 kmph and Wright just managed to top edge it straight to the deep fine leg fielder. Despite the dismissal, Quiney kept going and struck a couple of boundaries more before he was removed by Tim Bresnan in the 8th over. Kevin Pietersen who came into the middle after the fall of Wright’s wicket smashed his former England team-mate Tim Bresnan for a six and a four in the 10th over.

Peter Handscomb who came in after the fall of Quiney’s wicket was dismissed cheaply in the 12th over by Jhye Richardson. Marcus Stoinis joined Pietersen in the middle and settled the nerves if there was one with his audacious strokeplay. He struck Andrew Tye for a couple of fours and a couple of sixes in the 17th over to bring down the target within touching distance. Stoinis finished off the match in the 2nd delivery of the 18th over by hitting a monstrous six of left-arm spinner Ashton Agar. It was quite a comprehensive performance by the Melbourne Stars which takes them an inch closer to the Semi-final berth.

Brief Scores

Perth Scorchers 134/7 in 20 overs (Andrew Tye 42, Michael Beer 2/12)

Melbourne Stars 137/3 in 17.2 overs (Kevin Pietersen 44*, Marcus Stoinis 40*, Jhye Richardson 2/26)

Melbourne Stars won by 7 wickets (with 16 balls remaining)

 

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