In one of the most exciting Twenty20 games since the format was introduced, the Melbourne Stars have boosted their chances of qualification for the knockout stage
of the Big Bash after beating city rivals, Melbourne Renegades by three wickets.
The Renegades won the toss and chose to bat first and it was opener Matthew Wade who really put the pressure onto the opposition. The Aussie top scored with 72 runs off 49 balls in an innings that included four sixes.
Despite Wade's good work, the Renegades could not capitalise and get a good partnership going. Captain Aaron Finch was the first to depart, scoring just 12. He was soon followed by Calum Ferguson (15) and the star of the Renegades previous encounter, Ben Stokes (14) as James Faulkner (3-19) ripped through the middle order.
It wasn't until Tom Beaton (34) came to the crease that it seemed as though they would fail to reach a defendable total. Beaton shared a 58-run partnership with Wade for the fourth wicket until both fell to Faulkner and the Renegades finished 153/8.
Chasing what would seem an easily reachable target, the Stars faltered early on with captain Cameron White being dismissed for just four, whilst his opening partner Luke Wright could only manage eight, leaving the Stars 14/2.
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Then came an inspired stand of 120 for the third wicket between seasoned internationals Kevin Pietersen (49) and Glenn Maxwell (66), which shifted the balance of power back in the Stars' favour.
It was not over yet though as the wheels began to fall off in the Stars run chase as Fawad Ahmed clean bowled Glenn Maxwell and then an inspired spell of bowling from Stokes as he got Pietersen and took the wicket of Faulkner with the next ball.
The Stars still had time in hand and needed a further six off the last over. Three singles came off the first three balls before sharp work in the field saw Alex Keath and John Hastings run out in consecutive balls for the loss of two runs.
This left one needed off the last ball but, despite some doubt, Tom Triffitt scampered through for a single to win the game.