New Delhi: Former England star Kevin Pietersen lit up the entire Etihad Stadium in Melbourne with astronomical hitting against Melbourne Renegades on Friday. Vintage Pietersen scored 74 off 46 balls which included 4 fours and 5 humungous sixes.
After winning the toss Gades elected to bowl. They almost had the perfect start to their campaign when they dismissed Ben Dunk for a duck in the third ball of the match. But Pietersen, who was initially cautious, adjusted to the pitch. After getting his eye in, the 37-year-old smacked the ball all over the ground. Combining with Peter Handscomb (41 off 37 balls), Pietersen built a 110-run partnership.
A brilliant cameo by Glenn Maxwell (31 off 16 balls) towards the end helped Stars post 4-167 at the end of their 20 overs.
While batting Gades went off to a bad start. After losing both their openers for 24, Gades failed to recover. They slumped to 56 for 4 in the 10th over. Wickets kept tumbling for Gades throughout the match and at the end they could only manage 144-9, falling short by 23 runs.
This was the first victory of the tournament for the Melbourne Stars and particularly impressive given the absence of Australian one-day international representatives Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis.