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The Roar


Zampa the hero as Stars claim BBL win

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10th December, 2021

Australia’s World Cup-winning legspinner Adam Zampa took centre stage again as his final-over heroics guided the Melbourne Stars to a dramatic four-run BBL win over Sydney Thunder.

The Thunder had been cruising at 2-118, with Matt Gilkes and Sam Billings set at the crease, requiring 48 off the last six overs to reach the target of 166, with the power surge still in hand.

But new import Qais Ahmad, Brody Couch and Nathan Coulter-Nile took wickets in quick succession to get the Stars back into the contest.

The Thunder required 11 off the final over, and the Stars turned to experienced campaigner Zampa in a time of need.

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After starring with a team-high 13 wickets for Australia at the World Cup, Zampa stood up again despite errors in the field from Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster and captain Glenn Maxwell almost proving costly.

Maxwell dropped Alex Ross at long-on off the second last ball, leaving Ben Cutting requiring four to send the match to a super over – or a six to win it.


But the Thunder’s No.7 batter didn’t make any connection with a slash at Zampa’s final delivery, which was fired flat outside off stump, leaving his side short at 5-161.

“We were very confident in Zamps, having seen him do it for the whole World Cup and hold his nerve in massive moments,” Stars batter Nick Larkin said.

Adam Zampa of the Stars celebrates a wicket during the Big Bash League

(Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

“To see him go to Maxy, demand the ball and then deliver is just amazing.

“We probably didn’t do him justice in the field in that last over but it’s the measure of the man that he stepped up.

“They were probably our three best fielders (who made errors) and I’ve never seen Maxy drop a catch … but that just shows what pressure does.

“It’s an amazing thing but ultimately amongst all that Adam Zampa held his nerve and delivered us the win.”


Zampa (1-31) and Coulter-Nile (2-27) were influential for the Stars, completing four overs each, while Ahmad took 1-23 from three.

West Indies gun Andre Russell went for 0-40 from four overs on his Stars debut as the team’s most expensive bowler.

He also made 17 off nine balls in a brief cameo with the bat, helping lift the Stars to 4-165 after they were sent in.

Gilkes (56 off 49) and Billings (43 off 31) had threatened to take the match away from the home side, who were under pressure after being handed a record-breaking thrashing by the Sydney Sixers in their season opener last week.

Larkin cracked an unbeaten 52 off 43 balls to be named player of the match for the Stars and Hilton Cartwright posted 42 off 30, including the only two sixes of their innings.

Leg spinner Tanveer Sangha (2-29) was the pick of the Thunder bowlers and Nathan McAndrew (1-27) was the most economical of those who completed four overs.


The two sides meet again in Sydney on Sunday.