Melbourne Stars 9 for 143 (Maxwell 70, Boland 3-22) beat Hobart Hurricanes 5 for 164 (Malan 75, Stanlake 3-25) by 21 runs
The Hobart Hurricanes overcame a sluggish batting display and a thunderous innings from Glenn Maxwell to take victory against the Melbourne Stars as their bowling attack delivered, again.
At 3 for 112, the Stars needed 53 from 44 balls with Maxwell having dominated a stand of 72 in seven overs alongside Nicholas Pooran. However, they fell in the space of four deliveries and the game changed. The Stars were a specialist batsman light in their chase after Nic Maddinson suffered an ankle injury in the opening over in the field and the lower order had too much to do against excellent death bowling especially from Nathan Ellis. In the end the Stars fell a long way short.
The Hurricanes' innings never really got out of second gear except for a brief period after the Power Surge (which was a complete failure for them) but was anchored by the display of top-scorer Dawid Malan who made 75 off 56 balls. Crucially the No. 1 T20I batsman did not give it away until the very end, while Colin Ingram's 26 off 12 balls would end up proving vital.
Maxwell's brilliance cut short
The Stars did not make a good start to the chase as Marcus Stoinis and Andre Fletcher fell in the third over, followed by Hilton Cartwright in the sixth to leave them 3 for 40. However, Maxwell had already collected a series of sweetly-struck boundaries and then took charge of the innings bringing out his full range of strokeplay including a reverse sweep for six. Pooran largely fed him the strike and watched from the other end but when he deposited Sandeep Lamichhane inside-out over cover it felt like the game could finish quickly. Then Scott Boland, who has been impressive throughout the tournament, found Pooran's outside edge and at the start of the next over Maxwell picked out deep midwicket against Johan Botha. It was his only mistake, but a big one.
Lamichhane up against old mates
It was Lamichhane's first appearance of the competition in the purple of the Hurricanes, against his former Stars team-mates. He recently completed his two weeks' quarantine in Australia and had been diagnosed with Covid-19 while at home in Nepal. So this will have been welcome return to the middle. It wasn't his most accurate spell, but he claimed two key wickets. He defeated Cartwright with a googly and had Ben Duck caught behind off a wild drive. With Lamichhane providing right-arm legspin, the Hurricanes are an attack that have most bases covered. Ellis, meanwhile, ended with 2 for 11 from his four overs which included a huge tally of 17 dot balls.
The Hurricanes struggled to move through the gears in the first half of their innings, reaching 1 for 71 after 10 overs although they were building some momentum when the Power Surge was called after 12 overs, at 1 for 94 and Malan having reached a 32-ball fifty. However, the innings almost went into reverse in the two overs. Liam Hatcher delivered a series of excellent yorkers in the 13th over which cost just three, and then Billy Stanlake started the 14th with wickets off the first two deliveries. Ben McDermott, who used up 35 balls for 31, was bowled heaving across the line and Ellis, sent in as a pinch hitter, skied his first ball to mid-on. Stanlake would go for just two in the over (one of those as a leg bye) meaning the Surge had brought five runs.
Maddinson's rough day
The fourth ball of the match was driven down the ground by D'Arcy Short and resulted in one of more unusual injuries you will see. Maddinson was jogging to collect the ball from beyond the boundary, but in his stride landed directly on the rope with his left foot which resulted in a badly twisted ankle. He was soon ruled out of the match and at the 10-over mark the Stars brought in pace bowler Lance Morris under the X-factor rule. Morris' second over, the 16th of the innings, was a lively affair which started with dismissing Malan off a no-ball and then being taken for a four and six by the left hander as the Hurricanes tried to make up lost ground. It looked as though they would finish strongly as Malan and Ingram struck three sixes off consecutive balls, but the final 17 deliveries of the innings did not produce a boundary. Yet it still proved enough.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo