The match in a tweet: The Stars come from nowhere! Marcus Stoinis leads the way with bat and ball as the Heat fall short in huge blow to their finals chances #BBL08
The score: Melbourne Stars 8-134 (Stoinis 43, Cutting 2-10) beat Brisbane Heat 8-129 (Renshaw 45, Stoinis 4-21) by five runs.
The finish: How did the Heat lose that one? After a top-order collapse, the visitors were well-and-truly on track for victory, needing just 24 runs to win from 21 balls with six wickets remaining and two set batters at the crease. But the dismissal of Matt Renshaw was followed by a tight over from Dwayne Bravo, which paved the way for Marcus Stoinis to pick up another two huge wickets - and concede just four runs - in the penultimate over. And Bravo finished the job as the Stars won by five runs.
The hero: Stars allrounder Marcus Stoinis is arguably one of the most in-form cricketers in the country and he will now head to Canberra to join Australia’s Test squad after his late call-up on Saturday. The right-hander’s 29-ball innings of 43 moved him to fifth on the run-scorer’s list in this year’s BBL, his last five knocks for the Stars producing scores of 78no, 34, 70no, 53 and 43. He also picked up four crucial wickets to finish with 4-21, including a superb showing in the death overs, to secure a memorable win for the Stars. Coach Justin Langer has indicated it’s unlikely Australia will change a winning team following their victory at the Gabba, but Stoinis presents a strong case in this sort of form. And if Stoinis misses out on a Test debut, he should be available for the Stars' next match in a week from now.
The banter: “Your one good innings of the year, I reckon. And you’re still going to lose.” Stoinis having a cheeky dig at Heat batsman Jimmy Peirson late in the game, a sledge that proved to be prophetic.
The consolation effort: Twenty-four hours after he was dumped from Australia’s Test squad in favour of Stoinis, Matthew Renshaw was the Heat’s top-scorer with a career-best score of 45 from 43 deliveries. Having come to the crease amid a collapse of 4-23, Renshaw steadied the innings in a partnership of 57 with Jimmy Peirson (26 from 23) to post his highest score in any form of the game since early November. But unfortunately, his dismissal proved to be the beginning of the end for the Heat.
The roast: Chris Lynn’s dismissal for naught, moving across his stumps and attempting a sweep shot off the bowling of Adam Zampa, drew a swift response from Fox Cricket commentator – and proud Brisbane Heat fan – Andrew Symonds. “What sort of a shot’s that from your captain?” Symonds said. “This brand of ‘fearless cricket’ they call it, Brisbane Heat. Well, that’s not fearless to me – that’s dumb. He hasn’t got off the mark, he’s walked across his stumps … and got LBW”.
The next stop: It doesn’t get any easier for the Heat, who will travel to Hobart on Monday before they face the ladder-leading Hurricanes on Tuesday. The Stars now have a week off to celebrate their victory before they take on the Scorchers in Perth on Sunday.
Stars XI: Ben Dunk, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb (wk), Glenn Maxwell (c), Nic Maddinson, Dwayne Bravo, Evan Gulbis, Liam Plunkett, Adam Zampa, Jackson Bird, Tom O'Connell
Heat XI: Brendon McCullum, Max Bryant, Chris Lynn (c), Matt Renshaw, Alex Ross, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Ben Cutting, Josh Lalor, Brendan Doggett, Mitchell Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman