Melbourne, Dec 27: Peter Siddle's impressive death bowling held off Melbourne Stars as Adelaide Strikers handed them their first loss of the Big Bash League season with a five-run victory.
Australia international Siddle returned figures of 3-24 from his four overs, claiming the key wickets of Glenn Maxwell and Ben Dunk to ensure the Strikers defended their total of 174-4.
Jonathan Wells wrested control away from the Stars and ended with an unbeaten 68 off 46 deliveries – an 89-run partnership with Alex Carey anchoring the Strikers' innings.
Melbourne lost Nic Maddinson and Hilton Cartwright early on and were 66-3 when Maxwell went out to the middle for the final ball of the 10th over.
All-rounder Maxwell racked up four maximums in a blistering 43-run knock but chopped onto his middle stump when attempting a reverse scoop off Siddle.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (20 not out) kept the Stars in contention and with the visitors requiring six runs from the final two deliveries, Siddle picked out Dunk's leg stump with a sweet yorker and denied Adam Zampa a match-winning moment on the final ball to clinch a dramatic victory as Melbourne finished with 169-6.
STEYN GETS A TOUGH WELCOME
After starting his BBL career with a dot ball, Dale Steyn was launched for back-to-back sixes by Jake Weatherald.
The Strikers opener was not finished there either, finding the ropes twice more in succession – the second drilled to the boundary past a diving mid off.
However, Steyn got his revenge when Weatherald ballooned him to mid-on to become the first wicket to fall.
WELLS' ACCELARATION KEY
The Stars appeared to have everything under control until Wells claimed the Strikers' first boundary in 34 deliveries, though there was more than a slice of luck about it as Cartwright spilled an absolute dolly off Zampa on the ropes.
That over proved to be the foundation of a surge that saw Wells claim 51 off the last 26 balls he faced, sealing a second fifty of this BBL.
He finished with a stunning 13-ball partnership worth 32 alongside Rashid Khan, a prolific spell that ended up proving key to the victory.
MAXWELL COMES UNDONE
After Khan had Peter Handscomb (34) stumped off a googly, Maxwell decided it was time to cut loose. He launched the next ball to Wells at wide long on and had a six when the ball slipped through the Strikers fielder's grasp.
Maxwell bludgeoned Cameron Valente into the top tier and dispatched Ashton Agar for a pair of maximums in the 16th over to bring victory into the Stars' sights.
However, his flamboyance proved his undoing and Siddle held his nerve in a tense finale to ensure the Strikers made it back-to-back victories.