Melbourne Stars 2 for 143 (Stoinis 68*, Maxwell 40*) beat Melbourne Renegades 9 for 142 (Marsh 43, Lamichhane 3-26, Zampa 2-19) by eight wickets
Melbourne Stars won the season's first Melbourne derby in comprehensive fashion after their legspinning duo of Sandeep Lamichhane and Adam Zampa prompted a collapse that read 5 for 8 by the time it finished.
Coming at 2 for 117, just when Melbourne Renegades had set up for a strong finish and had the well-set Shaun Marsh at the crease, it helped restrict Renegades to 142. Marcus Stoinis made an unbeaten 68 and Glenn Maxwell an unbeaten 40 to see the Stars through with eight wickets in hand and open up a two-point lead at the top of the table with their fifth win in six matches.
In second place, Sydney Sixers have eight points in six matches. The loss - their sixth this season - means that defending champions Renegades continue to be the only team without a point on the board.
Finch and Marsh see off early trouble
Sam Harper was certainly adventurous after Stars put Renegades in, but his innings only lasted eight balls as he ended up mistiming a rising delivery from Nathan Coulter-Nile to mid-on in the second over. This brought Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh together and the pair went about the Powerplay without taking too many risks.
Dale Steyn and Daniel Worrall tied their respective ends up even as Coulter-Nile had a bad outing, but neither Finch nor Marsh looked particularly perturbed by the relatively sedate scoring rate. Going at just about seven an over in the eighth over, Finch lined up Adam Zampa in his first over and slog-swept him for six to get Renegades past 50. But minutes later, he got too far away from a googly pitched outside off, and Zampa was past his slog sweep to get off stump. The 42-run stand had still brought some stability on a slowish surface though.
Marsh and Beau Webster managed to move things forward without being particularly belligerent. The odd boundaries were on offer even though the spinners were tight through the middle overs. Lamichhane didn't have the brightest start to his spell, while at the other end Zampa was stringing the dot balls together efficiently.
The pair put on 62 in the seven overs they batted together until a stunning bit of work by Ben Dunk at long-on completely turned the game in the 15th over. Running to his left in chase of a Marsh pull shot against Lamichhane, Dunk jumped to hold on with two hands, managed to take two steps to keep himself on his feet, and managed to hurl a backhand to Coulter-Nile who was converging from deep midwicket just before his third step over the boundary line.
Two balls later, Lamichhane got a floaty legbreak to dip and spin past Dan Christian outside off and get his foot marginally off the ground. The touch-and-go stumping call went Stars' way and suddenly Renegades had lost their two of their most experienced batsmen in three balls.
Zampa lured Webster into a cut with a tantalisingly slow ball outside off and beat him next over, only to follow up with a slider that also looked good for the cut. Only it snuck through rapidly and took his middle stump instead. Lamichhane helped himself to another one and Steyn closed things out at 142, which appeared at least 20 below par.
A burst and then a trickle
Stars' openers made it look at least 40 under par with the way they began the chase. Tom Cooper was handed the first over and Stoinis hit him for three boundaries to start things off. Nic Maddinson started his innings with an elegant square drive against Kane Richardson next over, then followed up with not-so-elegant boundaries off the next two balls. Christian dropped Stoinis at midwicket off Richard Gleeson in the third over, and the seamer's average season looked to stretch even further as he conceded 13 off his opening over. Stars had raced to 41 in their first three overs.
Finch persisted with Renegades' best bowler this season, Richardson, and in his third over he managed to get Maddinson to slice one up for backward point. The legspin of Boyce then helped slow things down, and a promoted Dunk looked largely uncomfortable and hit no boundaries before finding mid-off with a leading edge off Gleeson.
But the drought wouldn't last. In the 12th over, Glenn Maxwell slapped Gleeson in front of square for the first boundary since the fifth over. He repeated it two balls later, and the momentum was back. By the time he reverse-whipped left-arm spinner Tom Andrews for six at the backward point boundary, the required rate was nearly down at run-a-ball. The last 18 runs were scored without any boundaries, but Stars still won with seven balls to spare.
More to follow