Super Over seals the deal for Stars against the Sixers

Michael Lumb scored 80 off 61 (photo: Davis Harrigan)
Michael Lumb scored 80 off 61 (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Having won the toss and deciding to bowl on a flat, hard MCG pitch, the Melbourne Stars needed early wickets to keep the Sydney Sixers on a leash.  No-one expected what was to come, or the Super Over.

After a last-ditch effort to score 15 runs in the final over of their innings, the Stars finished 4/150 – equalling the Sixers 6/150 earlier in the night.  The 22,098 fans in the stands made the noise of 50,000, such was the intensity of the Super Over.

James Faulkner and Luke Wright scored 19 off Brett Lee’s over, with Faulkner smashing two sixes.  In return, John Hastings was clever and smart with his bowling, and the Sixers finished their Super Over 2/9 – much to the delight of the home crowd.

Before the “tiebreaker” chaos, Jackson Bird provided the quick early breakthrough for the Stars, snaring the wicket of Nic Maddinson for five off a badly mistimed pull shot.  Three overs later, and the score was 2/37 when Riki Wessels attempted to smash a cover drive off John Hastings, but ended up directing it straight to Glenn Maxwell at first slip.

With the run rate consistently flowing at nine an over, and Lumb (80 from 61) finding most of the strike, the wickets needed to be found at the other end, and Moises Henriques was soon walking off, caught behind off the bowling of Scott Boland.

The tables turned for the Sixers, with Jordan Silk (37) and Lumb putting together a 69 run partnership that helped the visitors to 4/122, before Lumb succumbed to a simple catch, taken by the safe hands of Stars skipper Cameron White.

However, the 6.9 runs an over scored during the partnership was to the Sixers detriment.  A score close to 180 looked promising just after the powerplay, but Boland (an economy rate of 4.75) was one of the keys to restricting the Sixers to just 150.

Lumb’s 80 and Silk’s 37 were lone figures on the scorecard, with no-one else registering double figures.  The Stars fans were extremely vocal as Cameron White and Luke Wright opened the batting, having seen the bowling effort from the home side, and knowing the effect it had had on the scorecard.

All was quiet at the MCG for a moment, as Luke Wright chopped on to his stumps from a Brett Lee good length ball.  There was little fear as Kevin Pietersen (54 from 43) strode to the crease, and proceeded to put on a 70-run partnership with White.

James Faulkner in action with the ball (photo: Davis Harrigan)
James Faulkner in action with the ball (photo: Davis Harrigan)

One thing the Stars slowly started to slip away from was the required run rate, Kevin Pietersen out with 37 balls to go, and the Stars requiring 56.  The wicket of Glenn Maxwell had a few Stars fans holding their breath to see what the Tom Triffit and James Faulkner partnership would bring.

The required rate dropped with every ball; 28 off 14 became 18 off 8, and then 16 to get from the last over.

Just when everyone thought the Sixers would seal it, the final over went: 4, 1, 0, 4, 4, 2.  The dash made by Triffit to get home for the second sent the game into the Super Over.

Wright and Faulkner ultimately sealed the deal, smashing 19 off Brett Lee’s over, then Hastings restricted the Sixers to just nine.  A jubilant Stars cohort of fans made the sound of double the 22,098 at the ground.

Faulkner emphasised just how important it is to be playing for a win every time, after his man-of-the-match winning performance.

“Winning is what you play for if you’re batting or bowling.  What you play for is to walk into the changerooms (afterwards) with 11 or 12 other blokes, and celebrate a win.”

Triffit’s connection to Faulkner extends all the way back to the junior levels of cricket, and the left-armer said that having in the middle was pretty special.

“I’ve really enjoyed playing cricket with him…Whitey (Cameron White) and myself really wanted him here once Pete (Handscomb) broke his finger, so it was good that everyone supported the decision, and to have one of my best mates batting with me in the middle of the MCG.”

The home derby against the Melbourne Renegades occurs on Saturday, and, with the Stars having turned the tables on their season, the Stars A-Game becomes more important, said Faulkner.

“The last few years, we’ve made the finals and haven’t won anything.  All you’ve got to do is make the four, and T20 is such a fast and fickle game, and hopefully this can kickstart our season.”

Sydney now have a break until Sunday, where they will face the Brisbane Heat away, and the Stars welcome the Renegades on Saturday.


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