In the opening game of Big Bash League (BBL) 2022-23, Sydney Thunder defeated Melbourne Stars in a thrilling contest at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Chasing a paltry target of 123, Thunder got off to a terrible start, losing Matthew Gilkes (0) and Rilee Rossouw (0) on ducks in the opening over bowled by Trent Boult.
Stars kept the pressure on Thunder batters as the Jason Sangha-led side kept losing wickets at regular intervals as the contest went down to the wire. With seven needed off three balls, Gurinder Sandhu smashed a six to level the scores, and Thunder needed just one to win the game.
However, Beau Webster bowled a dot delivery, and the action moved to the final ball. The right-arm pacer delivered the outside leg and beat Sandhu, but the keeper Joe Clarke failed to collect the ball, and Thunder ended up winning the game.
Nathan Coulter-Nile was the pick of the bowler for Stars, bagging a three-wicket haul for 19 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Apart from the right-arm pacer, captain Adam Zampa (2/27) and Boult (2/21) picked up two scalps apiece.
Earlier, Thunder won the toss and opted to bowl first, which paid off well as they restricted Stars to just 122/8 in 20 overs. Sandhu (2/23), Fazalhaq Farooqi (2/20), and Daniel Sams (2/21) all picked up two wickets each and didn’t allow any batter from the Stars to settle.
Nick Larkin was the only batter who crossed the 20-run mark for the Stars. The New South Wales cricketer scored 25 off 26 deliveries, including a solitary boundary.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
An absolute THRILLER to kick off #BBL12.
It’s so good to be back ☺️ pic.twitter.com/SqkaisuUMv
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 13, 2022
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 13, 2022
One of the wildest BBL games ever… #BBL12
— Louis Cameron (@LouisDBCameron) December 13, 2022
— Sydney Thunder (@ThunderBBL) December 13, 2022
— Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) December 13, 2022
Pure class from Zampa #bbl12
— Tim Michell (@tim_michell) December 13, 2022
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) December 13, 2022
Farooqi’s love affair with the stumps continues 🧡
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) December 13, 2022
Adam Zampa could run CA very smart cricketer. Not just a leg spinner. 100 big bash wickets in 86 matches excellent for a leg spinner
— Dan Smith Zampa Stapleton (@Dan_Stapo) December 13, 2022
Ugly game but compelling start to season #BBL12
— Andrew McCormack (@_AMcCormack7) December 13, 2022
— Matt Hope (@MattHope4) December 13, 2022