The match in a tweet: The loser becomes the winner! The high-level stars remain at the top of the table, avenging the final defeat of last summer while Renegades collapses at 0-6 to continue the hangovers of premiere before 54,478 fans at the ‘G.
The score: Melbourne Renegades 9-142 (Marsh 43; Lamichhane 3-26) lost to Melbourne Stars 2-143 (Stoinis 68 *, Maxwell 40 *) by eight wickets with seven balls to sell.
Collapse: The last time these rivals played the stars on the flop dramatically to slide a BBL maiden title onto the fingertips. This time it was the struggling Renegades that fell into a pile, losing 7-23 from the 31 balls at the end of their innings to sink to their sixth consecutive defeat to start the season.
After Shaun Marsh helped lay a promising platform with 43 balls of 33, it was the wicket of the Forsaken arm recruit to a smart team that captured the long border (more on the one below) that triggered the almighty collapse.
Dan Christian followed in controversial circumstances the same as Sandeep Lamichhane, Adam Zampa and Dale Steyn proved almost unplayable after the Forsaken started posting 160 points.
The heroes: At the top of the scale after six games, the Stars bowling attack appears among the most powerful in the competition and their double threats on the wrist have been the key factors in their success.
Zampa and Lamichhane collected 5-45 from their eight over combined to conduct a superb bowling effort that wouldn’t have gone unnoticed on the other sides of the BBL.
Paw held his nerve after being crushed for six by Aaron Finch (25 of 24), cleaning it with two balls later, before doing the same with Beau Webster (29 of 25) to finish with 2-19.
Meanwhile Lamichhane fired Marsh and Christian in the space of three deliveries and returned to grab Tom Cooper’s scalp, claiming that the 3-26 figures were the main force in the collapse of the Gades horror.
The controversy: Two balls after Marsh’s release, Daniel Christian left under controversial circumstances.
The stars begged the square leg referee to review a disconcerting appeal after Lamichhane beat the bat and goalkeeper Peter Handscomb tossed the bail bonds, with Gerard Abood only reluctantly accepting after a long delay.
It showed the right move; Christian’s foot was shown to be suspended in the air when the stumps were broken, but the allrounder seemed to have words with Abood as he left the field with a golden duck to his name.
The supporting cast: In charge of conducting a much smaller pursuit than the stars would have anticipated, Marcus Stoinis maintained his superb BBL form by taking BKT Golden Cap as the tournament’s top scorer with another winning hand.
The powerful allrounder, who has not yet passed the tournament, took the Gades ploy to launch the partial Tom Cooper for the first over of the innings by breaking 13 before launching Will Sutherland in 10 rows on the Ponsford stand.
It was a clinical performance by Stoinis, who touched the brakes after losing his opening partner Nic Maddinson (17 out of 13) after a 53 stand and then Ben Dunk (15 out of 13) while the chase took place and kept the rhythm required the sign of the six-above.
He pulled out his third half-century of the 41-ball tournament, competently controlling innings while an undefeated 68-stand with captain Glenn Maxwell (40 out of 32) scored the overall victory.
Stoinis now has 281 runs at an average of 70.25 from six innings in the tournament.
The shot: Maxwell does it so often now that he barely raises an eyebrow, but the degree of difficulty on this you’re blown away by Tom Andrews was so high that it attracted the approval of master blaster Chris Lynn.
The socket: It wasn’t exactly the wonder of Ben Laughlin-Jake Weatherald to take a couple of seasons ago, but this teamwork of Ben Dunk and Nathan Coulter-Nile to remove Marsh proved crucial in the context of the match.
The South African veteran was exceptional in the final game of his six-game streak for the stars, picking up 2-16 (and probably making it the easiest period of his career), demonstrating a handful with both the new ball and death.
Steyn hopes to return to Australia next summer for the T20 World Cup campaign in South Africa as she prepares to return to international cricket next month. Fast-paced British Pat Brown and potentially Haris Rauf, who has played three games this season, will fill the void for the stars.
The next stop: By winning and languishing at the bottom of the BBL rankings, the Renegades will try to revive their defensive title defense when they host the Perth Scorchers in Geelong on Tuesday.
The stars remain at the MCG to face the Sydney Thunder on Wednesday before tackling their cross-town rivals again in Friday’s return to Marvel Stadium.
Melbourne Stars XI: Marcus Stoinis, Nic Maddinson, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (c), Peter Handscomb (week), Ben Dunk, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Daniel Worrall, Dale Steyn, Sandeep.
Melbourne Renegades XI: Aaron Finch (c), Sam Harper (wk.), Shaun Marsh, Beau Webster, Tom Cooper, Dan Christian, Will Sutherland, Cameron Boyce, Tom Andrews, Kane Richardson, Richard Gleeson.