Recent Match Report – Stars vs Thunder 12th Match 2023/24

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Sydney Thunder 176 for 5 (Hales 40, Bancroft 30, Webster 4-29) beat Melbourne Stars 172 (Webster 59, Maxwell 30, Sams 4-33, Zaman 3-24) by five wickets

Daniel Sams produced fireworks in the latter stages of both innings to propel Sydney Thunder to a five-wicket BBL win over Melbourne Stars despite a historic all-round effort from Beau Webster.

In a battle between two winless teams, Stars were dismissed for 172 at the Lavington Sports Ground in Albury. They lost wickets on the last four balls of the final over, bowled by Sams, who returned 4 for 33 in his four overs. Sams took a return catch, had another batter caught, and completed a team hat-trick by assisting in a run-out before bowling the last man.

Then, with Thunder needing 23 off as many balls, Sams (22 not out in 13 balls) erased all doubts with a quick cameo, and Nathan McAndrew settled the game with a six over long-on with ten deliveries remaining.

The win moved Thunder to fifth and left Stars bottom – they have won just one of their 11 BBL matches in 2023.

Thunder prevailed despite an excellent all-round performance from Webster, who top-scored with 59 off 44 balls and was also the Stars’ most successful bowler with 4 for 29, his best BBL figures. He became the first player in BBL history to score a half-century and take four wickets in the same game.

Despite the all-round heroics from Sams and Webster, slingy Pakistan quick Zaman Khan (3 for 24 in three overs) bowled Glenn Maxwell and Hilton Cartwright with beautifully executed yorkers to earn the Player-of-the-Match award.

Webster was the only Stars batter to build on a start after they opted to bat first in front of just over 10,000 spectators.

Captain Maxwell (30 in 26), Tom Rogers (21 in 16) and Cartwright (22 in 11) all looked dangerous but failed to go on.

Thunder looked to be cruising to victory after a punishing opening stand of 78 in 7.2 overs between Alex Hales (40 in 26) and Cameron Bancroft (30 in 20). Hales smashed three sixes in an over off Stars debutant Mark Steketee, and Bancroft struck fours off the first two deliveries of the next over, before Webster dismissed both in the space of three balls.

Webster then had the dangerous Ollie Davies (23 in 18) caught at mid-off after he had cracked two fours and a six earlier in the over.

Alex Ross (17 in 9) fell to spinner Liam Dawson, who then took a great catch to dismiss Jason Sangha (19 in 21) to give Webster his fourth wicket.

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