Kevin Pietersen made an unbeaten 67 to extinguish Sydney Thunder’s hopes of a semi-final berth as Melnourne Stars won by eight wickets.
The Stars are the form horse in the competition having won four in a row, but they were handed this one by the Thunder who could only muster five boundaries in their 106 for eight.
The Thunder lost Jason Roy, bowled for a duck by Michael Beer and Travis Bird had Daniel Hughes (4), caught by Pietersen at mid-off, and Jacques Kallis, caught behind, to see the scoreboard 9 for three.
Only 19 runs were made in the 6 over powerplay. Andrew McDonald was bowled by Beer after a period of consolidation for 23 in 32 balls in the 15th over. Hartley (4) was bowled by John Hastings, who then took the wicket of top scorer Aidan Blizzard, who scored 45 in 48 deliveries.
Clint McKay took the wickets of Ahillen Beadle and Nathan Hauritz in the final over to see the wickets shared around.
The Stars were hot favourites at halfway and delivered. They lost Luke Wright (4) to the bowling of Josh Lalor, but Pietersen and Cameron White added 76 for the second wicket to see the Stars safe.
Pietersen notched 10 fours and a six to eclipse the Thunder’s paltry efforts and reached his final score in only 42 balls.
A t20 miracle catch on the boundary saw the end of White, with Lalor tipping a catch back inside the ropes to return inside the boundary himself to complete the job. It was the only bright spot on an evening where the Thunder failed to roar.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
He's unsurprisingly a complete cricket badger!