T20 Big Bash League - KFC

Stars slaughter Sixers

29/12/2013 23:01 PM
Glenn Maxwell


Melbourne Stars have asserted their dominance on the KFC T20 Big Bash League, crushing the Sydney Sixers by 77 runs to move to the top of the ladder on Saturday night.

The massive victory, after they restricted the Sixers to 9-123 in their 20 overs in pursuit of 201 for victory, was built around the all-round class of Glenn Maxwell and the best bowling attack in the competition.

Maxwell smashed 37 off 18 in a destructive cameo, took three wickets with his developing off-spinners while also taking a catch and producing a stunning run out to live up to his "Big Show" moniker.

The win, which also saw David Hussey hit his eighth BBL half century, follows a 76-run first week flogging of the Melbourne Renegades and leaves them all alone atop the BBL ladder.

The Sixers were rarely in the contest, struggling in the face of the Stars' five-pronged pace attack - and giving the healthy crowd of 20,368 little to cheer about.

Pace trio Jackson Bird (1-29), Clint McKay (1-8) and John Hastings (1-17) all took wickets, and all have represented Australia in the past 12 months.

It's a formidable line-up - and that's before you factor in Sri Lankan star Lasith Malinga and rising Australian all-rounder James Faulkner, who both contributed on Sunday.

Earlier, Maxwell and Luke Wright (28 off 17) provided the fireworks as the visitors posted 5-200 from their 20 overs.

Maxwell, who went to the Mumbai Indians for $1 million in the IPL auction this year, hit three fours and two sixes in an exhilarating innings while adding 57 with Hussey.

Maxwell employed the switch hit to great effect, smacking consecutive boundaries off Ravi Bopara.

Hussey, who posted his eighth BBL half century, had earlier put on 74 with Matt Wade (36).

Josh Hazlewood did an admirable job to limit the Stars, taking 3-20 including the scalps of Brad Hodge (0) and Cam White (9) in one destructive over.

Paceman Brett Lee, who battered TV host Piers Morgan in a fiery net session two days ago, didn't fare as well, conceding 25 runs in his first two overs to finish with 0-37.

"It was definitely `Showtime' tonight, however he (Maxwell) wants to describe it," Faulkner said.

"I don't know what goes through your head when you try to play three reverse lap (shots) in an over but they all came off - so credit where it's due.

"He's a fantastic talent for Australian cricket."

Lee said the Stars had earned the right to be deemed title favourites after their ominous start to the summer.

"Well they're an international side, aren't they?" he said.

"They've got 11 players that have played international cricket - they're very hard to compete with.

"We got walloped tonight. But that's just part of the game."