The score: Brisbane Heat 7-206 (Ross 51, Burns 50, McCullum 30, Cutting 35, Stoinis 3-38) defeated Melbourne Stars 6-191 (Stoinis 99, Faulkner 47 not out) by 15 runs.
Match in a tweet: Superstar Stoinis delivers an extraordinary career-best T20 knock against the odds, but the Heat take the points in a match which featured 19 sixes #BBL07
The consolation effort: Marcus Stoinis gave another reminder of his quality with an impressive 99 off 51 balls, before he was run out agonisingly short of a maiden BBL century. It was an effort Adam Gilchrist described as “one of the great BBL innings you will see”. The powerful allrounder, who earlier claimed 3-38 from his four overs, smacked half-a-dozen sixes and was the only batsmen to get a hold of the disciplined Heat attack. He found a valuable ally in James Faulkner, sharing in a 137-run fifth-wicket stand. But ultimatately, Stoinis' knock was another fighting effort in a losing cause, having made headlines earlier this year when he smacked an unbeaten 146 from 117 balls in only his second one-day international against New Zealand.
The hero: With his ‘Bash Brother’ Chris Lynn ruled out because of a tight hamstring, there was plenty of pressure on Brisbane Heat skipper Brendon McCullum to perform in his team’s BBL opener. The New Zealander whacked a rapid 40 from 22 balls to put his team on track for a formidable score. McCullum’s knock included four boundaries and two sixes, but his astute captaincy also earned the praise of Channel 10 commentators Adam Gilchrist and Michael Vaughan.
The support cast: Pakistan leggie Shadab Khan (2-41), Josh Lalor and Brendan Doggett punched telling holes in the Stars’ top order, with awesome foursome Luke Wright, Ben Dunk, Kevin Pietersen and Glenn Maxwell all dismissed for under 20. In the lead-up to the BBL, Joe Burns declared his team had a “very under-rated bowling attack” and tonight’s display backed up his assertion, with their versatility a feature.
The victim: Stars paceman Scott Boland endured a night he would rather forget, conceding 48 runs from his three overs. The burly right-armer was hammered for 24 off his first over and struggled to contain the Heat’s batsmen. Boland also dropped a catch in the final over of Brisbane’s innings, but he did claim the wicket of Alex Ross.
The moment: With the Stars chasing 207 for victory, a strong start was essential. New recruit Ben Dunk, the leading run-scorer in BBL|06, loomed as a key to his team’s chances of reaching the mammoth target. Then Mitch Swepson delivered this…
The stat: At just 19 years and 77 days, Shadab Khan became the youngest overseas player to ever feature in the BBL. The teenager, who has represented Pakistan in all three formats, enjoyed a memorable first game, bagging the key wickets of Wright and Maxwell.
The turning point: When McCullum departed, the Heat appeared to have a minor case of the wobbles at 3-61. However, Joe Burns (50) and Alex Ross (51) stepped up, plundering the Stars’ bowlers to all parts of the Gabba in an 82-run stand from 47 balls, with the pair both registering impressive half-centuries and smacking five sixes between them. When they were separated with 5.4 overs remaining, the Heat boasted a run rate of almost 10 and went on to post an imposing total.
The silly point: Not quite what we expected to see from Chris Lynn tonight, but whatever keeps the fans happy!
The fantasy wrap: His team didn’t take the points, but Stoinis ($55,900) scored a whopping 198, courtesy of his incredible 99 and a haul of 3-38 with the ball. Heat pair Brendon McCullum (72) and Joe Burns (70) were the next best.
The pic of the night: Doesn't this say it all!
The wash-up: Brisbane Heat will be looking to move to 2-0 when they tackle Melbourne Renegades at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. They could be boosted by the inclusion of Lynn, while Burns did not field against the Stars after sustaining a minor groin strain while batting. The Stars will next face defending champions Perth Scorchers at the WACA on Boxing Day.