A blistering innings of 89 from Andre ‘Spiceman’ Fletcher led the Melbourne Stars to a dominant 111-run win against the Adelaide Strikers at the MCG on Friday night.
Fletcher, whose highest score in nine previous innings this season was just 18, hammered four sixes in his 49-ball knock in front of a delighted MCG crowd who witnessed their first taste of BBL action this season.
Ably supported by Glenn Maxwell (37 off 28) and Hilton Cartwright (30 not out off 17), West Indian Fletcher — who some had argued should be dropped after a poor run of form — pushed the Stars to an above-par 2-179.
In reply, Australian leg spinner Adam Zampa (5-17) ripped through the Strikers and took his second-best ever T20 figures to seal a huge victory.
The Strikers’ 10-68 was the third-lowest score in BBL history.
Prior to Friday night’s clash the Stars had lost five of their last six games and were desperate to reinvigorate a season that had started brightly.
The win, in which the Stars picked up all four points on offers, moves Maxwell’s side level on 20 points with three other clubs (Scorchers, Strikers and Heat).
Andre Fletcher has produced some magic for the Stars, scoring 89 runs in a dominant 111-run win. Picture: Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
After Carey won the bat flip and sent the Stars in, big-hitting opener Marcus Stoinis (13 off 26) had an innings to forget.
The Aussie star struggled to pierce the field during the power play, eventually dismissed by a contentious full-toss from Danny Briggs, which was adjudged only just below the waist from the third umpire.
The innings forced skipper Maxwell to push himself up the order in a bid to boost the run-rate.
The Stars managed just 57 runs in their first 10 overs, and appeared on-track for a sub-150 score.
But the home side hammered 122 off the next 10 overs in a brutal display of power hitting that included a huge straight six from Cartwright that almost sailed into the Great Southern Stand’s second tier.
Wes Agar (0-46) was the main victim among the carnage, and conceded 36 runs off his last two overs.
The Stars have kept their finals hopes alive with their fourth win of the season. Picture: Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Spin to win
The Strikers were completely shut-out of their chase from the Stars spinners.
Zampa, alongside Maxwell (2-12) and Zahir Khan (2-19) were the pick of the Stars’ bowlers and gave them little chance in pursuit of 180.
Back in the sporting capital
After 39 games around the country, the BBL roadshow finally arrived in Melbourne on Friday night.
Due to Covid restrictions the MCG was permitted to host 15,000 patrons.
Friday night’s encounter was the first of 10 matches in 12 days in the city, culminating in an MCG double-header on Australia Day.
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