Peter Handscomb has set his sights on a top-order spot at the Hobart Hurricanes after signing a two-year deal with the BBL franchise.
Glenn Maxwell says Melbourne Stars’ BBL regular-season dominance makes their loss to Sydney Sixers in the final harder to take than previous failures.
Glenn Maxwell was shattered after Melbourne Stars’ capitulation in last year’s BBL final, but the captain admits Saturday’s SCG surrender was even harder to take.
The Stars’ 19-run loss to Sydney Sixers means they have now won just three of 12 games in BBL playoffs, with Test skipper Tim Paine saying on the Seven Network that “it is certainly mental …they have fallen over within finals cricket”.
In the 2018-19 final, Maxwell was part of an unbelievable collapse of 7-19 that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as a maiden title beckoned in a Melbourne-derby final.
In this season’s decider, Maxwell departed for five as his team crashed to 4-25 in pursuit of 117 from 12 overs.
The captain denied the Stars folded under pressure in Sydney, where they enhanced their reputation for regular-season dominance and finals failure.
“It (a rain-shortened game featuring 12-over innings) is a bit of a lottery. I thought we bowled okay, we still gave them about 15 or 20 too many,” Maxwell said.
“Losing three wickets in the first three overs probably hurts you. Stoin (Marcus Stoinis) picked out the one bloke on the fence and I got the one ball that Steve O’Keefe spins all tournament. It happens.”
Saturday proved an emotional rollercoaster for Maxwell, who woke with doubts as to whether any sort of match would be possible because of heavy rain.
Maxwell won the bat flip, snared the key scalp of Steve Smith in a haul of 2-17 then watched the wheels fall off in half an hour after a season spanning almost two months.
Maxwell, who departs for Australia’s limited-overs tour of South Africa later this week, suggested “it certainly does” hurt more than the 2018-19 fiasco.
“Last year was pretty tough to take but the fact we had such a dominant season, we played so well throughout the whole of this tournament,” Maxwell said.
“We were able to play a lot of our list and get some game time into different people. It was just such a successful season, to see different guys stand up at different times.
“We never felt out of it. Even when it was 20 an over, we still thought ‘we still back these guys to get this’. It’s hard.”
Stars’ finals flops
Semi-final losses: BBL01, BBL02, BBL03, BBL04, BBL06.
Final losses: BBL05, BBL|08, BBL|09.