Big Bash League: Colin Munro stars with unbeaten 99 as Brisbane Heat beat Melbourne Stars
Colin Munro has christened the new Big Bash season with a magnificent unbeaten 99, lighting up the opening night as the Brisbane Heat showed last season’s final appearance was no fluke in a massive 103-run win.
The Melbourne Stars continued their trend of slow starts, comprehensively blown off the park after the Heat posted 3-214 at their home fortress of the Gabba.
Injuries to Glenn Maxwell and Nathan Coulter-Nile exacerbated Melbourne’s opening-match disaster.
But the night belonged to Munro, who showed incredible power and control as he made batting look effortless.
Maxwell was rueing his call to bowl first as Usman Khawaja and New Zealand star Munro blasted out of the blocks.
The pair had more than 60 runs on the board inside six overs before Khawaja fell for 28.
Munro took the wicket as an insult, unleashing on the short straight boundaries as the Heat rollicked along at nearly 11 runs an over.
Tom Rogers appeared to have his number with a diving catch in the outfield off Maxwell, but the ball was ripped from his grasp as his arms landed on the turf.
The Kiwi didn’t need a third chance, hitting the next ball for six as he bulldozed every bowler who got in his way.
Even Marnus Labuschagne cashed in on the run-fest, using his reverse sweep to take down English spinner Liam Dawson before hauling out to West Aussie Joel Paris.
Munro needed just two runs for his century coming into the final over but found himself stuck at the non-striker’s end on 99 as Max Bryant closed the Heat’s magnificent innings with three straight boundaries.
The Star’s run chase got off to the worst possible start as new wicketkeeper Sam Harper was trapped lbw on review for four on the third ball.
A bad start turned into a horror show just two balls later as Tom Rogers top-edged a simple catch to Sam Billings, bringing Maxwell to the crease with the score on 2-6.
But the Aussie enigma stayed brave, getting going by bludgeoning 20 off Spencer Johnson’s first set.
The joy didn’t last.
Maxwell appeared to hurt his elbow and was caught by the man at deep cover switch-hitting.
And when Marcus Stoinis hit his third ball straight to a fielder, Melbourne’s hopes were all but gone.
Hilton Cartwright gave Stars fans something to cheer late with a boundary-laden cameo of 33 off 16.
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