Stars put Sixers in a spin

A Glenn Maxwell-inspired Melbourne Stars have downed the Sydney Sixers by 5 wickets in a thrilling encounter on Sunday night.

Man-of-the-match Maxwell (50 off 36) led the charge against the Sixers whose 139-run score just wasn’t enough to trouble the visitors.

Despite losing opener Marcus Stoinis for a duck off the third ball of the match and Luke Wright shortly after, Maxwell and Peter Handscomb (52 off 40) formed to crack a game changing 83-run partnership to take the Stars to 3/104 before Maxwell mistimed a flick shot off Doug Bollinger to be caught at deep mid-wicket.

However, with one ‘big-show’ gone another entered.

Dave Hussey came to the crease with the Stars needing 36 runs for victory and he didn’t muck around.

Hussey and Handscomb picked off singles with ease before the former all but ended the match by cracking Sixers Trent Lawford for a scintillating six.

The Stars left some hopes of a win lingering for the Sixers faithful as they lost Handscomb and then James Faulkner with only 2 runs to win off 11 balls, but the steady head of Tom Triffitt guided the Melbourne side home.

Sixers Bowlers Stephen O’Keefe and Jackson Bird led the Sixers resistance but unfortunately for the Sydney side their downfall began before they bowled.

Batting first the Sixers started slowly, losing both openers in as many overs. Nic Maddinson (25 off 21) and Moises Henriques (41 off 34) went about steadying the ship before captain Henriques was cruelly struck down by a recurring calf injury that has plagued his career in recent seasons.

With both Maddinson and Henriques gone in quick succession, spin proved the key to tying up the Sixers run rate, with Michael Beer (1-16 off 4 overs) the pick of the bowlers.

Ably supported by Zampa (1-23 off 4) and Maxwell (1-35 off 4) runs were hard come by for the Sixers batsmen.

It wasn’t until some quick running and smart stroke play form Jordan Silk (35 off 28) that the scoreboard started to tick over taking the Sixers from a dire 3-99 off 15 overs to a respectable 5/139 at the close of their innings.

However losing their captain proved to be the tipping point for a Sixers side who will be unlikely to retain its place on top of the BBL table with the other two-win sides -the Strikers and Thunder – facing off tomorrow night.

The Sixers now travel away to Adelaide facing the Strikers on Thursday the 31stof December while the Stars play-off in a Melbourne derby against the Renegades on January 2nd.

Link to published article: http://www.sydneysixers.com.au/news/match-report-sydney-sixers-melbourne-stars-scg-moises-henriques/2015-12-27

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