Melbourne Stars batsman Kevin Pietersen has clashed with umpires during his side’s nailbiting Big Bash win over the Adelaide Strikers.
Chasing 153 to win at the MCG on Tuesday night, the Stars looked in trouble on 6-107 before some late heroics from tailender Ben Hilfenhaus steered them to a two-wicket victory in the final over.
Hilfenhaus belted 18, including a six and two fours, off a single Wes Agar over to finish unbeaten on 32 off 24 balls.
Pietersen earlier became embroiled in a dispute about Strikers’ allrounder Kieron Pollard’s strapped bowling hand.
The former England star demanded that Pollard remove the tape on his bruised hand before he would face a ball against him.
“I just want to get him to take that off his hand. I don’t think it’s right,” Pietersen said.
“One umpire says it’s fair and the other umpire says it’s not, so I said ‘I’m not going to bat until it’s off’.”
Pietersen eventually relented and faced up to Pollard but appeared frustrated by the umpires’ lack of action.
“I don’t think we’ve got a solution here,” he said.
“We get on with it. It’s T20 cricket. We play in the rain, we play in everything, why not.”
Pietersen made 32 off 29 balls before being run out by new Strikers import Ish Sodhi.
The New Zealand legspinner impressed on debut, taking 2-25 off four overs.
The Strikers earlier made 8-152 after being sent in to bat, with Ben Dunk top-scoring with 35 off 25 balls.
Dunk, the BBL’s second-best run-scorer this season, hit five fours before David Hussey took a brilliant catch at full stretch off Liam Bowe’s bowling.
Bowe, a bespectacled 19-year-old nicknamed ‘Wizard’ for his resemblance to Harry Potter, finished with 1-21 off three overs in his BBL debut.
Hilfenhaus took 2-21 alongside his batting heroics for a clear man-of-the-match performance.