Stoinis, Pietersen ensure Stars triumph

Melbourne Stars 2 for 156 (Pietersen 67*, Handscomb 39*) beat Melbourne Renegades 6 for 155 (Bravo 59*, Stoinis 3-11) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kevin Pietersen scored his second fifty in this edition of the BBL © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

A week (that feels like a lifetime) ago, Chris Gayle was a columnist for Fairfax Media. In his final column – he has since filed a defamation case against the company for allegations made in its pages – he claimed he and Kevin Pietersen were the Melbourne derby’s big draws, but Pietersen was no match for him. This week, with all the build-up surrounding Gayle for the wrong reasons, Pietersen did as Pietersen does, and stole the show in style.

There was only ever one way Gayle could have responded to an eye-popping week with anything approaching elegance. It is now his bat that has to do his talking, as Channel Ten have ruled out any further involvement in their coverage, and he won’t speak to media again during the competition, even if he scores a century. From his first ball, when he miscued a slog sweep off Michael Beer, it was clear that he knew this.

After losing his opening partner Tom Cooper early, this mis-hit caused Gayle to go into his shell (if he has one), with seven of his next eight deliveries dots. That was until Adam Zampa entered the attack. Gayle rocked back and sent his second delivery into the second tier, and three balls later, he had six more in a similar region. But the introduction of Marcus Stoinis ended Gayle’s tired innings just as it looked like waking up, as he swatted a short ball to long-on.

Gayle’s meaningful contributions were done, and many would have been relieved to note the evening even passed without any overt “Stand by Gayle” moments among the crowd of 43,176 as there had been on Wednesday when the MCG confiscated banners.

Full report to follow…

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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