Munro slams 99 as Brisbane Heat crush Melbourne Stars to open Big Bash League | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Colin Munro, the powerful New Zealand batsman, played a stellar innings by scoring an unbeaten 99, guiding Brisbane Heat to a dominant 103-run victory over Glenn Maxwell‘s Melbourne Stars on the opening day of Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash League.
In front of a crowd of 20,000 at the Gabba, Stars’ captain Maxwell won the bat flip and chose to field, witnessing Munro’s spectacular performance that included five sixes and nine fours in a rapid 61-ball display.
Despite being dropped on 58 by Tom Rogers in the deep, Munro continued his onslaught, adding insult to injury by hitting a six off the next ball in a Maxwell over that yielded 22 runs.
Although Munro fell just short of a century at 99, the Australian Test stars Marnus Labuschagne (30 off 23) and Usman Khawaja (28 off 19) contributed to Brisbane Heat’s formidable total of 214-3.
The Stars’s run chase started badly, with fast bowler Michael Neser removing openers Sam Harper and Rogers in the first over.
World Cup winner Maxwell came in at three and scored a brisk 23 before he was out to the spin of Mitchell Swepson, having received treatment on his right forearm.
Marcus Stoinis followed him back to the pavilion four balls later as they slumped to 54-4 in the seventh over and never looked like challenging Heat’s total.
They were dismissed for 111 in the 16th over with Swepson claiming 3-23 and Neser 2-30.
“From the onset, I thought we came out with the bat beautifully. Munners (Munro) batted beautifully, I mean he made it look so easy out there,” said Heat skipper Khawaja.
“When you get a start like that, it’s really hard (for the opposition) to reel it back in.”
It was the Stars’s fifth defeat in a row stretching back to last season.
The win opened the 13th edition of the eight-team tournament, with Perth Scorchers red-hot favourites to win a third straight title after beating Heat in last season’s final.
They begin their defence in Geelong against Aaron Finch’s Melbourne Renegades on Sunday.
A four-game finals series will lead into the decider on January 24.
(With AFP Inputs)


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