England batsman Dawid Malan scores his first Big Bash League fifty as Hobart Hurricanes beat Melbourne Stars
Malan hits 75 from 56 deliveries for Hobart in their Big Bash win over Melbourne Stars; England batsman strikes seven fours and three sixes as Hurricanes secure a fifth win in seven games; Lewis Gregory's unbeaten 31 helps Brisbane Heat to only their second win
Last Updated: 02/01/21 1:56pm
England's Dawid Malan scored his first Big Bash League fifty as Hobart Hurricanes beat Melbourne Stars by 21 runs despite an onslaught from Glenn Maxwell.
Malan - the top-ranked batsman in the world in T20 international cricket - struck 75 from 56 deliveries in his third innings for Hurricanes as his side posted 164-5 at Bellerive Oval.
The 33-year-old, who had made scores of 15 and 39 in his first two innings of the season, hit three sixes and seven fours on Saturday and reached his half-century from 32 balls.
Stars were reduced to 40-3 inside six overs of the chase, only for Maxwell (70 off 37) to swing the game in the Melbourne side's favour with five sixes and six fours - one of his maximums, off D'Arcy Short, securing him a 28-ball half-century in a 72-run stand with Nicholas Pooran.
Stars were 107-3 at the start of the 13th over, needing only 58 runs from 48 balls, but Pooran (14) was dismissed four balls later by Scott Boland (3-25) and Maxwell then holed out off Johan Botha (1-18) at the start of the 14th.
Stars limped with the bat thereafter, managing only two fours and 31 runs in their final seven overs, as the Stars attack, led by Boland and Nathan Ellis (2-11 from four overs), limited them to 143-9.
Boland was named Player of the Match but Malan's knock was also key in Hurricanes' fifth win in seven Big Bash matches.
The left-hander's knock continued a series of good recent displays by the English contingent with the bat, with Alex Hales having dazzled twice this week for Sydney Thunder, Jason Roy returning to form for Perth Scorchers and Phil Salt passing fifty for Adelaide Strikers.
Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory added to that in Saturday's second Big Bash fixture, with his unbeaten 31 from 16 balls helping Brisbane Heat to only their second win of the campaign, a four-wicket victory over Sydney Sixers.
Gregory hit two sixes and as many fours and shared an unbroken stand of 50 from just 25 balls with Jack Wildermuth (22no off 10) as Heat rallied from 121-6 in the 16th over to reach their target of 166 with seven balls to spare - Wildermuth with the match-winning six off Ben Dwarshuis.
Gregory had earlier dismissed James Vince for 20 during Sixers' 165-8, while another Englishman, Joe Denly, made 19 on his Heat debut.
Sixers - who saw their four-match winning streak come to an end - missed the chance to leapfrog their Sydney rivals Thunder at the top of the standings and are now in third place with Hurricanes having overtaken them after their earlier win.
Thunder lead the way on 19 points from six games, with Hurricanes second on 18 points from seven games and Sixers - who are back in action against Adelaide Strikers on Sunday - third on 17 points from six games.
Strikers (13 points), Stars (11 points), Heat (8 points), Perth Scorchers (6 points) and Melbourne Renegades (4 points) are fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.