Glenn Maxwell’s maiden KFC BBL century was surpassed by Josh Philippe as the Melbourne Stars were defeated for the second time in a row by the Sydney Sixers.
Seeking to make amends for their 61 all out in the season opener, Stars’ skipper Maxwell led the way for the hosts at the MCG with 103 off 57 balls to help his side post an imposing 5-177.
But that didn’t deter Sixers young gun Josh Philippe, who played perhaps his finest knock in the BBL so far as he finished 99 not out off 61 balls, falling agonisingly short of posting the visitor’s first-ever century in the competition.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 15, 2021
The Sixers lost James Vince (9) early in the chase, but skipper Moises Henriques and Philippe smashed a couple of massive sixes to lift the total to 84 without further loss.
The crucial wicket of Henriques (29) was then taken by Australian T20 spinner Adam Zampa, but Philippe kept going to register his third half-century of the tournament, continuing his sensational start to the domestic season.
On 60, the 24-year-old was hit on the neck while attempting to pull Brody Couch, but it didn’t appear to bother him as he blasted his next ball over the keeper for four.
Jordan Silk made 25 not out from 19 balls as he and Philippe led the Sixers to victory by seven wickets with two balls to spare.
Maxwell came to the wicket with the Stars leading 2-6 after both Marcus Stoinis (3) and English rookie Joe Clarke (0) fell cheaply.
The Stars skipper’s innings should have finished on 15, but he was saved by Lloyd Pope, who dropped a chance at fine leg.
Coach Greg Shipperd substituted the Sixers’ leg-spinner for allrounder Hayden Kerr at the midway mark of the innings after he was taken for 12 off his first over.
The Stars scored the tournament’s lowest four-over powerplay with 2-12, defeating the Hobart Hurricanes from the previous night as Nick Larkin and Maxwell developed the innings conservatively, pushing the score to 59 before Larkin was dismissed by experienced allrounder Dan Christian.
Maxwell then stepped up as he approached fifty, striking left-armer Ben Dwarshuis for 20 off the 14th over as he and Hilton Cartwright (23) put up 85 for the fourth wicket.
The 33-year-old needed only 19 balls to get from 50 to his first BBL century – and his fourth in T20 cricket – as he drove the Stars total to nine runs per over before being bowled for 103 in the last over.
Maxwell had a brace of hundreds on the night, and he also reached 100 sixes in his BBL career when he flicked Dwarshuis over square leg in the fifth over, becoming only the second batter after Chris Lynn (173) to do so.
A stylish century from captain Glenn Maxwell has led the Stars to 5-177 at the MCG!
Don't go anywhere with the Sixers chase coming up soon #BBL11
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 15, 2021
The points table hasn’t changed much, with the Sydney Sixers still in second place and the Melbourne Stars in third.