BBL 9: Melbourne Stars defeat Sydney Thunder by 3 wickets in a thrilling contest

Despite a flurry of wickets at the end, Melbourne Stars defeated Sydney Thunder by 3 wickets in a thrilling contest played at Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney on Thursday.

Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson won the bat flip and decided to bat first. It was not an ideal start as Alex Hales was dismissed off the 3rd ball of the match by Glenn Maxwell. Usman Khawaja could not score much as he also was dismissed by Glenn Maxwell. After the loss of early wickets, Ferguson and Matthew Gikes steadied the innings. At the end of the first six overs, Sydney Thunder was 36 for 2.

Soon after the power play overs, Haris Rauf struck to remove the dangerous Callum Ferguson to put Sydney Thunder under pressure. Alex Ross struggled initially to score runs while Matthew Gikes took singles and hit occasional boundaries. Hinchliffe was bought into the attack by Maxwell and got the wicket of Gikes. Gikes and Ross added 32 runs for the 4th wicket. After hitting a boundary, Chris Morris chipped a straightforward catch to Adam Zampa. Alex Ross looked in good touch with some big hits while Daniel Sams struggled. Rauf got wickets of Sams and Ross to control the run flow. Arjun Nair hit a quickfire 17 off 11 balls and added 20 runs with Chris Green. Sydney Thunder posted 142 for 7 in 20 overs.

In reply to 143 runs to win, Melbourne Stars got off to a shaky start losing an early wicket of Nic Maddison in the very first over. Marcus Stoinis and Nick Larkin played cautiously to take Melbourne Stars to 38 for 1 at the end of six overs.

After the power play overs, Stoinis and Larkin played with positive intent to put the pressure back on Sydney Thunder bowlers. Larkin reached his fifty off 36 balls which helped Melbourne Stars control the run chase. Stoinis also reached his 50 off 47 balls. Chris Morris struck twice by dismissing Larkin and Stoinis in the 17th over. Larkin and Stoinis added 123 runs for the 2nd wicket. Daniel Sams got wickets of Glenn Maxwell and Ben Dunk off successive deliveries. Nathan Coulter Nile hit a boundary to ease the pressure. With 1 required from 6 balls, McAndrew got wickets of Coulter Nile and Hinchliffe. Adam Zampa hit the winning run and helped Melbourne Stars win the match by 3 wickets with 2 balls to spare.

Melbourne Stars 143 for 7 in 19.4 overs (Nick Larkin 65, Marcus Stoinis 58, Daniel Sams 3/25, Chris Morris 2/24) beat Sydney Thunder 142 for 7 in 20 overs ( Alex Ross 40, Matthew Gikes 28, Haris Rauf 3/24) by 3 wickets.