Records tumbled at the MCG on Sunday, with Marcus Stoinis blasting the highest score in BBL history in the Melbourne Stars’ thumping 44-run victory over the Sydney Sixers.
The allrounder’s unbeaten 147 from 79 balls on Sunday night smashed the previous best of 122 not out by Hobart’s D’Arcy Short in January 2018.
Stoinis’ maiden Twenty20 hundred took the Stars to a mammoth 1-219 after being sent in to bat by the Sixers.
Already the BBL’s leading-run scorer this season, Stoinis bounced back from a duck in Friday’s Melbourne derby victory in powerful fashion.
“This is as much fun as I’ve had on a cricket field,” Stoinis said.
“I probably haven’t played as 360 as that for a long time, if ever.”
Stoinis’ 207-run opening stand with Hilton Cartwright (59) broke the record for the highest BBL partnership, rocketing past former Stars Rob Quiney and Luke Wright’s 172 in 2012.
His innings – the third best by an Australian in Twenty20s, behind Aaron Finch twice – included 13 fours and eight sixes as the hapless Sixers’ bowlers had no answers to some supreme clean-hitting.
Ben Dwarshuis’ 0-61 was the most runs conceded by a bowler in the BBL.
Sixers teammate Tom Curran racked up figures of 0-58 for the second time this season.
Stoinis’ amazing form is going to be hard for Australian selectors to ignore in the lead-up to this year’s Twenty20 World Cup.
The 30-year-old has 478 runs for the tournament, 159 ahead of the next best, the 0-9 Renegades’ Shaun Marsh.
Earlier, the Adelaide Strikers snapped a three-game losing streak and vaulted to third spot on the BBL ladder after walloping the Melbourne Renegades by 63 runs at Adelaide Oval.
Set 174 for victory on Sunday, the Renegades slumped to 2-10 early and never recovered, rolled for 110 in 17.4 overs against a disciplined, economical Strikers attack spearheaded by veteran seamer Peter Siddle (3-14) and spin pair Rashid Khan (2-19) and Travis Head (2-26).
“It was a great day,” Siddle said. “The way we went about it, it was a nice way to break that little streak and get back on the winners’ list.
Everyone out there did their bit and put in a near-perfect performance.”
In his return to Twenty20 ranks, unlikely bowling hero Head castled openers Marcus Harris (four) and Shaun Marsh (21).
Siddle sent the middle stump of Sam Harper (five) cartwheeling before sprinting from third man to backward point to pouch a marvellous, diving catch to snare Mohammad Nabi (six). He then sent Samit Patel and Daniel Christian packing.
Beau Webster was trapped leg-before to Rashid for a gutsy 49, having waged a lone vigil for the winless, defending champions who plunged to their ninth loss from as many starts.
Earlier, Jono Wells (58) and Matt Short (41) lifted the Strikers out of a spot of bother and to 6-173.
Jake Weatherald (27), Head (22) and Phil Salt (18) all holed out trying to go big as the home side, aggressive but reckless during the powerplay, slumped to 4-81 before the patient repair job came.
At one stage, ‘Mr Fixit’ Wells – who has 292 runs at 73 for the tournament – and Short went 43 deliveries without a boundary while in wicket-preservation mode, before finishing with a flourish, 76 coming from the final six overs to leave the Renegades reeling.
“For whatever reason we’re not getting it right,” dejected Renegades leg spinner Cameron Boyce said.
“It’s not time to point the finger or play the blame game.
“We need to figure out internally how to get out of it because at the moment, what we’re putting forward just isn’t good enough.”