Maxwell master-class trumps Banton blitz
Young Englishman wows Gold Coast crowd, but Stars captain's 83 in return to cricket consigns Heat to second straight defeat
20 December 2019, 10:49 PM AEST
The match in a tweet: Banton wows Gold Coast crowd, but Maxwell's masterclass in his return to cricket consigns Heat to second straight defeat to start #BBL09
The score: Melbourne Stars 7-167 (Maxwell 83) defeat the Brisbane Heat (Banton 64; Zampa 3-30) by 22 runs.
The hero: Signs of rust after his break from cricket? None. Glenn Maxwell played a simply extraordinary innings with minimal help from his Melbourne Stars teammates.
As wickets tumbled around him and a next highest score of 20, the Stars captain was not only explosive in belting five sixes but also clever in picking his moments to attack.
It meant he batted deep into the Stars' innings, finally losing his wicket in the final over for a sublime 83 off 39, which proved the difference between the two sides.
The consolation act: There's a serious buzz developing around Tom Banton and he gave his first real glimpse to an Australian audience why we're likely to hear a lot more about him in the years to come.
Sandeep Lamichhane shrugged his shoulders in resignation after the right-hander reverse-swept the leg-spinner's first ball for four. When he followed with a conventional sweep for four and then a slog sweep for a 94-metre six (he would go on to hit an even bigger one later, see below) in the ensuing balls, Banton had found his groove.
After bringing up his fifty off just 29 deliveries, Zampa had him caught on the long-on fence – a blow from which the Heat never recovered. But make no mistake, the young Englishman made his mark on the competition.
The supporting cast: Adam Zampa came through with wickets for the Stars every time they needed one.
After having danger man Chris Lynn caught at long on, Zampa then had Banton out in the same fashion to stop the Heat in their tracks (more on that below). The leggie later picked up Sam Heazlett caught behind with the final ball of his allotment to cap a terrific night with the ball.
The shot: Banton outdid an earlier big six with this monster, depositing Stars debutant Clint Hinchliffe for an enormous 102-metre bomb over mid-wicket.
102m, if you don't mind! Unfortunately, we've seen the last of Tom Banton for the night, but that was great! #BBL09 pic.twitter.com/XBZ7HfdPha— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 20, 2019
The moment: It was a jaw-dropping innings from Banton, but his exit left the Heat in the lurch. His departure to Zampa with more than half the innings to go proved a turning point, sparking a Heat collapse of 6-64 with only Matt Renshaw (39 off 30) providing any resistance.
It's the second time in as many games to start the tournament that the Heat have failed to chase down a competitive, but gettable, target.
The dance: Renshaw might be spending more time at the bowling crease after removing danger man Nic Maddinson in his only over. He may also want to spend more time on the dancefloor perfecting whatever move he was trying to pull off here…
Is this the worst attempt at a Fortnite dance you've ever seen? 🤨 #BBL09 pic.twitter.com/bbblLpjKHA— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 20, 2019
The run-out: Brought in after missing the Heat's first game, Jimmy Peirson dropped a chance early on but soon made up for it with a terrific direct-hit run out of Peter Handscomb. Who says keepers can't throw?
Jimmy Pierson pounces and take his opportunity! The Stars are four down at the halfway mark #BBL09 pic.twitter.com/ACOcj8eeVN— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 20, 2019
The dream start: Plucked out of club cricket in Tasmania to play in the BBL as Dale Steyn's replacement, Haris Rauf's BBL dream continued when he took a wicket on his first ball. Granted, he had a large slice of luck as Max Bryant tickled one down the leg-side but that didn't stop his new teammates from getting right around him. He grabbed another late wicket to finish with superb figures of 2-20 from his four overs.
Dale who? @HarisRauf14 takes the big wicket of Max Bryant on his very first ball! A @KFCAustralia Bucket Moment | #BBL09 pic.twitter.com/QFcWRPY8Ms— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 20, 2019
The next stop: Both sides are back in action in two days' time and, as well as Rauf went on debut, the Stars hope their prized South African recruit will be right to play.
Steyn said on commentary for Channel Seven that he's likely to be fit for the clash in Moe against the Hobart Hurricanes.
The Heat meanwhile are winless from two games and will hope to get on the board against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Sunday.
Brisbane Heat XI: Tom Banton (wk), Max Bryant, Chris Lynn (c), Matthew Renshaw, Sam Heazlett, Ben Cutting, Jimmy Peirson, Josh Lalor, Mitchell Swepson, Ben Laughlin, Zahir Khan #BBL09— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 20, 2019
Melbourne Stars XI: Marcus Stoinis, Nic Maddinson, Hilton Cartwright, Glenn Maxwell (c), Peter Handscomb, Ben Dunk, Clinton Hinchliffe, Adam Zampa, Daniel Worrall, Haris Rauf, Sandeep Lamichhane #BBL09— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 20, 2019