Sydney Thunder has fallen to the Melbourne Stars by eight wickets in a disappointing loss at Metricon Stadium.
Thunder skipper Shane Watson won the bat flip and elected to bat first. The consecutive losses of in-form Jos Buttler (18) and Callum Ferguson (0) shook Thunder and increased the pressure early. It took a sixth wicket partnership between Daniel Sams (42) and Chris Green (14) to save the innings and help Thunder post a defendable total of 135.
After a costly second over, Daniel Sams struck in the third to dismiss Ben Dunk (13) and break to opening partnership. Fawad Ahmed (1-26) picked up the key wicket of player-of-the-match Marcus Stoinis (34) in the seventh over however he had already laid the foundation for a Stars victory, with his side just needing a run a ball to claim the win when he was dismissed. Glenn Maxwell (41*) replaced Stoinis at the crease and combined with Nick Larkin (41*) to produce an unbeaten 80-run partnership to steer the Stars home with 16 balls to spare.
Thunder named an unchanged XI to the side that beat the Perth Scorchers at Spotless Stadium on 2 January. The Stars made two changes with debutant Liam Plunkett and Michael Beer coming in for Jonathan Merlo and Sandeep Lamichhane.
Sydney Thunder: Shane Watson (c), Fawad Ahmed, Jos Buttler, Jono Cook, Callum Ferguson, Chris Green, Sam Rainbird, Joe Root, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha
Perth Scorchers: Glenn Maxwell (c), Michael Beer, Scott Boland, Dwayne Bravo, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Nick Larkin, Liam Plunkett, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa
THE TURNING POINT
Player-of-the-match Marcus Stoinis belted 14 runs off the final over of the power play to ease the pressure and put the Stars in control of the chase with Glenn Maxwell still to come in the order.
THE FINAL OVER
Daniel Sams had the ball with the Scorchers needing six runs to win. Nick Larkin managed a single from the first delivery before Glenn Maxwell smashed a big six to win the game for his side with 16 balls remaining.
PERFORMER OF THE MATCH
Big hitting Daniel Sams made a quick fire 42 runs from 25 deliveriesb, including four sixes, in his best performance with the bat of the season to save Thunder's innings. He backed up his batting efforts with the ball, claiming the early wicket of Stars opener Ben Dunk to finish with 1-28.
Thunder take on the Brisbane Heat at Spotless Stadium on Tuesday 8 January. The 7:15pm fixture follows a match between Thunder WBBL and the Melbourne Renegades.
SYDNEY THUNDER TICKETS6 JAN | v Melbourne Stars | WBBL | Bankstown Memorial Oval
8 JAN | v Melbourne Renegades | WBBL | Spotless Stadium
8 JAN | v Brisbane Heat | BBL | Spotless Stadium
13 JAN | v Adelaide Strikers | BBL | Spotless Stadium
22 JAN | v Melbourne Renegades | BBL | Spotless Stadium
9 FEB | v Hobart Hurricanes | BBL | Manuka Oval