In a thrilling last-ball finish to a low-scoring Big Bash League opener, Sydney Thunder defeated Melbourne Stars by one wicket. Thunder needed eight runs from the final over with three wickets in hand, but Beau Webster took two wickets in two balls, including substitute fielder Brody Couch’s stunning one-handed catch at long off to remove Chris Green. Gurinder Sandhu then hit the fourth ball of the over for six runs to tie the game, leaving Thunder needing one from two balls.
Sydney Thunder defeated Melbourne Stars in Big Bash
A dot ball followed, and Sandhu played and missed the final delivery, only for English wicketkeeper Joe Clarke to fail to gather and allow Thunder a bye to win in a thrilling curtain-raiser at Canberra’s Manuka Oval. The bowlers dominated throughout on a two-paced track, and the Stars were quickly put under pressure after being asked to bat first, losing both openers within five overs.
Also Read: PSL 8, Final Draft HBL PSL 8th Edition
Joe Burns and Marcus Stoinis were both cleared to play despite testing positive for Covid-19 prior to the game, but the former was forced to leave the game injured after appearing to pull his hamstring, while the latter was dismissed for a golden duck. After scrambling to 122-8, the Stars got off to a great start with the ball, dismissing Matthew Gilkes and Rilee Rossouw for ducks in his first over. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals throughout the innings, three of them to Nathan Coulter-Nile, but the Thunder snuck home despite falling to 57-5 and then 89-7.
For a long time, it appeared that the Big Bash would begin with a whimper in a year when the tournament needed to make a mark, amidst new competition from rival franchise Twenty20 competitions in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. The usual crash, bang, wallop of T20 cricket was missing – the Stars hit only eight boundaries in their innings. Even the wickets weren’t particularly exciting, with no cartwheeling stumps or flying catches.
Also Read: Fakhar Zaman getting picked for Lahore Qalandars in the PSL draft has fans over the moon
The Thunder innings were mostly similar, but that will be forgotten thanks to an exhilarating finish that demonstrated the thrilling payoff that low-scoring games can provide. What about flying catches? Stumps in the ground? Is the ball bouncing off the rope? The final over had it all: Couch running and leaping to take a magnificent catch, Webster bowling Fazalhaq Farooqi for six, and Sandhu’s crucial blow for six. You had to wait, but the Big Bash is back with a vengeance.