Stoinis returns to form with 35-ball 74 as Stars secure thrilling win

Before Luke Wood kept his composure with the ball to lead Melbourne Stars to an eight-run BBL triumph against the Adelaide Strikers, Marcus Stoinis pounded his way back into top form. In front of 40,373 spectators, Stoinis scored 74 runs off 35 deliveries, including six sixes, to lead the Stars to 186 for 7 on Saturday.

Adam Hose scored his first BBL half-century, and Rashid Khan (24 not out) had an exciting cameo late in the game. Rashid helicoptered Stoinis for six, then squirted a four past third man to leave 17 needed off the 20th over with 33 needed from the next two overs.

The final six balls required an additional fielder to be within the circle because of Stars’ sluggish over rate, but Wood was up to the task.

Prior to brutally regaining his best form, Stoinis stepped out to center of the field with just 14 runs at an average of 3.5 for the competition. Stoinis was able to start after opening players Joe Clarke and Tom Rogers set the stage.

Prior to being dismissed for 6, 6, 4, and 6 off consecutive balls from Golden Arm leader Henry Thornton, who gave up 29 in the 18th over, Stoinis scored 24 off one Peter Siddle over. After Trent Boult of New Zealand dispatched the dangerous Matt Short in the opening over, the strikers’ response got off to a bad start.

Chris Lynn made a serious attempt to match Stoinis’ display of pyrotechnics, but his attempt failed when he holed out to deep square leg for 21 off Stars skipper Adam Zampa’s second pitch. Hose and Henry Hunt increased the pace with a 74-run third-wicket partnership as the asking rate increased.

When Liam Hatcher removed Colin de Grandhomme and Thomas Kelly off consecutive deliveries, the match appeared to be in Stars’ control before Rashid raised a few late questions. The injury to Rogers’ left shoulder sustained while plunging to rescue a boundary was the lone drawback for the visitors.

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