A sensational 83 off just 39 deliveries by Glenn Maxwell has delivered the Melbourne Stars a 22-run Big Bash League win over Brisbane Heat on Friday night.
The allrounder, playing his first game since taking a mental health break in October, was the standout batsman for the Stars at Metricon Stadium.
Big Show: Glenn Maxwell took the long handle to Brisbane’s bowlers.Credit:AAP
Maxwell smashed seven fours and five sixes in his knock to lift the Stars to 7-167 off their 20 overs after being asked to bat first by Heat skipper Chris Lynn.
Peter Handscomb (20 off 15) was the next highest scorer for the visitors, emphasising the importance of Maxwell's innings.
Ben Laughlin nearly had Maxwell caught on the boundary when the allrounder was just on 12 but couldn't hold on to the catch despite an amazing flying effort.
Laughlin got some measure of revenge, bowling Maxwell in the final over to finish with 1-35 off his four overs.
Heat rising: Tom Banton slugs a six for Brisbane at Metricon Stadium.Credit:AAP
The Heat were given a great start in their run chase thanks to English young gun Tom Banton, who smashed his first BBL half-century but finished on 8-145 in response.
Banton belted 64 off just 35 deliveries including four big sixes but his departure midway through the innings left the Heat struggling.
The 21-year-old was the second batsman caught in the deep by Ben Dunk off the bowling of Adam Zampa (3-30) after the pair had earlier combined to remove the dangerous Lynn for just eight.
Matt Renshaw, who was one of six Heat bowlers to claim a single wicket each, did his best to keep the Heat in the contest with a well-made 39 off 29 balls but when he fell to Daniel Worrall (2-21) in the penultimate over, the home team's hopes were extinguished.
Star turn: Adam Zampa celebrates a wicket for Melbourne.Credit:Getty Images
Pakistan quick Haris Rauf, plucked from Tasmanian club cricket as a replacement for injured South African great Dale Steyn, made an instant impact on his BBL debut.
The slingy right-armer dismissed Max Bryant (6) with his very first delivery and ended the match with tidy figures of 2-20 off four overs.
The Heat, who have now lost their first two fixtures, will be eager to open their account on Sunday when they face the Sydney Sixers at the SCG.
The Stars take on the Hobart Hurricanes in Moe in their next match, also on Sunday.
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