Marcus Stoinis recovered from a nasty blow to the helmet as Melbourne Stars prevailed over Hobart Hurricanes on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in the BBL.
In a match blighted by two rain stoppages, the Stars eventually came out on top by four runs after reaching 55-3 off 7.3 overs, enough to make the revised target of 51 with the Hurricanes having made 69-5 off 11.
Stoinis was the key man at the crease for Melbourne scoring 25 off 19 balls before succumbing to Riley Meredith with the penultimate delivery of the match.
It was far from plain sailing for the opener, who was hit square on the grille by Meredith earlier in the innings.
However, he recovered and – along with Peter Handscomb (22 not out) – took the Stars to a win which sees them move up to second place in the standings.
— Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) December 30, 2019
STOINIS TAKES ONE IN THE GRILLE
James Faulkner’s brilliant start with the ball handed the Hurricanes hope, with the paceman trapping Nic Maddinson (2) lbw before dismissing Nick Larkin (0) with his next delivery.
Meredith then skidded a short one up into the grille of Stoinis, who immediately signalled to the bowler and his batting partner Handscomb that he was fit to carry on.
The Stars’ doctor also gave Stoinis the all clear after a thorough on-field check and the Australia internationals kept their cool despite the loss of the early wickets.
With the weather closing in once more, Stoinis – who eventually picked out long on from Meredith’s bowling in the eighth over – and Handscomb selected their shots carefully as the Stars did just enough to seal the win by the time the rain returned.
COULTER-NILE AND STEYN DO THE DAMAGE
While Stoinis and Handscomb ultimately guided the Stars to victory, Nathan Coulter-Nile (2-14) and Dale Steyn (2-12) set the stage with some fine bowling.
With Coulter-Nile having dismissed Simon Milenko (12) just before the first rain break, Steyn came back into the attack to oust Ben McDermott (17) prior to the second stoppage.
After just over half-an-hour, Steyn picked up where he left off, immediately forcing compatriot David Miller (0) into a slack pull shot straight to Handscomb.
Caleb Jewell (26) had proved a thorn in the Stars’ side, but he went with the very next delivery as Coulter-Nile got his second wicket.