Stoinis sizzles to surge out of slump as Stars ring in new year by striking success in Adelaide
Marcus Stoinis blasted his way back to form by helping the Melbourne Stars pull off their greatest BBL run chase in a seven-wicket win over the Adelaide Strikers on New Year’s Eve.
After Chris Lynn (83* off 42 balls) and Matt Short (56 off 32) lifted the Strikers to an imposing 205 for 4 at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, Beau Webster (66* off 48) and Stoinis (55* off 19) silenced the bumper crowd of 42,505, raising victory with six balls remaining.
Stoinis, who entered the match hopelessly out of touch with just 30 runs for the tournament at an average of six, battered the Strikers into submission, turning a formidable chase into a cruise.
With the match in the balance in the 18th over, Wes Agar was incensed when his full toss which Stoinis clobbered for four was deemed too high and a no-ball, softening the equation for the Stars.
But there was no luck required in the 19th as Stoinis, also the New Year’s Eve hero here 12 months ago, crunched James Bazley for 62466 for the win.
After Tom Rogers (8) departed cheaply, Dan Lawrence (50) – virtually straight off a plane as a replacement player for departed Pakistani duo Haris Rauf and Usama Mir – lit up the powerplay. Lawrence, though, was run out in contentious fashion.
D’Arcy Short’s bullet to wicketkeeper Harry Nielsen from deep square leg just beat Lawrence’s lunge, but while the ball spilled out of Neilsen’s gloves as the stumps were broken, the Englishman was given his marching orders by third umpire Donovan Koch.
Stars skipper Glenn Maxwell (28) miscued impressive legspinner Cameron Boyce to Adam Hose in the outer, but then Webster and Stoinis’ fireworks show began.
Earlier, master blaster Lynn and captain Matt Short had the Strikers at one stage eyeing a total nearing 250.
After D’Arcy Short (25) spooned a return catch to spinner Corey Rocchiccioli, captain Short and Lynn smashed 83 off the next five overs and moved into first and second place on the competition’s run-scoring leaderboard.
The skipper thumped three sixes before lofting a knuckle-ball from opposite number Maxwell (2-21) to Webster at deep midwicket. Maxwell’s knuckle-ball variation also claimed Hose (14) as the Strikers’ progress stalled somewhat, but Lynn continued to fire against a depleted, rattled Stars attack.
The BBL’s all-time leading run-scorer, Lynn belted four sixes and was well supported late by Jamie Overton but no total was enough with the mood Stoinis was in.