Good Evening! Hello and Welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of the 2015-16 Big Bash League (BBL) match between Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, as we bring you the live updates from the game. Stars, who have been a major force in the BBL, ever since the inaugural edition have made ot to the knock-outs once, but failed to progress beyond. Thunders, on the other hand, have too been a star studded side, but never made it to the semis, as both the teams look to make a turnaround this season and prove their dominance.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 177/5 in 20 overs; BATTING: James Faulkner 45(36), Peter Handscomb 0(0): FOUR! Pietersen sends a full toss off the fourth ball of the 16th over towards fine-leg to reach his fifty in 33 balls. Goes for an ambitious reverse-sweep off the final ball, that fetches him only a single however. SIX! SIX! FOUR! Sandhu comes in to bowl the 17th over, and concedes 16 off the first three balls with two consecutive sixes and a four! The nightmare does not end there for Sandhu, as he concedes a total of 24 runs, including a six towards fine-leg off a full toss by Pietersen off the last ball. Pietersen moves into the 70’s now, and it is unlikely he will get to his hundred, which ultimately is the case when he is caught at deep fine-leg by Fawad Ahmed off the bowling of Clint McKay to depart for 76 after 42 balls. The game is alive once again, but the odds still are in favour of Melbourne. Faulkner and Handscomb exhibit some excellent running between the wickets after Pietersen’s dismissal to get their side closer to the target.

Faulkner faces Kallis for the final over, and takes two runs off the first three balls to bring the equation down to four needed off three. Outrageous running between the wickets between the two batsmen, especially Faulkner who goes for a massive dive in the third ball. The highly-experienced Kallis then outwits Faulkner off the next two balls to collect two dots. Four needed off the last ball. And Faulkner smashes the ball towards midwicket with an intent to clear the boundary, but collects only a couple after the ball lands safely in front of the fielder! Sydney Thunder maintain their winning ways, pulling off a thrilling one-run win in this game! OUT! Kevin Pietersen c Fawad Ahmed b Clint McKay.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 120/4 in 15 overs; BATTING: Kevin Pietersen 46(32), James Faulkner 18(16): BOWLED! David Hussey has to depart after getting his stumps rattled off a good length delivery that he misses completely while trying to heave towards the leg-side. James Faulkner takes a triple off the second ball that he faces to get off the mark. Watson concedes 10 off the over, including a wicket. Meanwhile, Pietersen is playing an valuable innings at the moment, and his presence at the crease is crucial at the moment. Melbourne Stars need another 59 to win from 30 balls. OUT! David Hussey b Shane Watson 0(3)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 74/3 in 10 overs; BATTING: Kevin Pietersen 21(18), David Hussey 0(1): Andre Russell turns things around massively in the sixth over, removing both Wright and Marcus Stoinis in successive deliveries to break the Stars’ rhythm. Stoinis is unfortunate to have been adjudged lbw, as the hawkeye reveals the ball to have been missing the stumps after being pitched outside. Tight over by Russell, as he concedes only two off it. Kallis comes in to bowl the ninth over, and concedes seven off the first four balls before Maxwell pulls the fifth delivery for Sandhu to take a simple catch at short midwicket to depart for three. Massive wicket for Sydney Thunder at the moment. Melbourne need 105 off 60 ballsOUT! Luke Wright c Michael Hussey b Andre Russell 18(15), Marcus Stoinis lbw Andre Russell 27(19), Glenn Maxwell c Gurinder Sandhu b Jacques Kallis 2(8)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 47/0 in 5 overs; BATTING: Marcus Stoinis 26(17), Luke Wright 18(14): Andre Russell comes in to bowl the first over, and starts off by conceding a boundary to Stoinis off the very first ball. Stoinis continues to attack in the third over, which is bowled by Clint McKay, as the opening batsman hammers a couple of boundaries. Former South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis hammers a a rising delivery down the ground between the umpire and non-striker for a straight four! Melbourne Stars are cruising at 47 for no loss after 5 overs, and are well on their way to chasing the total down in no time at all.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 178/6 in 20 overs; BATTING: Usman Khawaja 109(70), Clint McKay 9(3): The 16th over is a huge one for the Thunder, with 18 runs coming off it! Smashes Faulkner over midwicket boundary for a massive six, before ending the over with consecutive fours to move to 95. Meanwhile, Russell is providing valuable support from the other end, and the run-rate is brilliant at the moment, before he is brilliantly caught by Faulkner at long-on to depart for 22 off 16 balls. Would have cleared the ropes, but Faulkner leaps high in the air and collects the ball safely off Hastings’ bowling. ben Rohrer gets caught by Glenn Maxwell at deep square-leg off the bowling of Boland. Faulner bowls the last over, and concedes 19 off it. McKay hits a massive six over long-on off the last ball. OUT! Andre Russell c James Faulkner b John Hastings 22(16), Ben Rohrer c Glenn Maxwell b Scott Boland 1(2)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 123/4 in 15 overs; BATTING: Usman Khawaja 77(51), Andre Russell 12(9): Glenn Maxwell gets pounded by Khawaja in the 11th over for consecutive fours, with Hussey beginning to get into the act soon. OUT! Maxwell gets the last laugh in the 13th over after getting hit for a few boundaries, as he manages to deprive Hussey of room, who gets rapped on the front pad to be adjudged lbw for 16 off 11 balls. Andre Russell arrives at the crease, and demolishes Zampa for two consecutive boundaries. OUT! Michael Hussey lbw Glenn Maxwell 16(11)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 73/3 in 10 overs; BATTING: Usman Khawaja 40(30), Michael Hussey 1(2): The 50 comes up for the Thunder in the seventh over, before Adam Zampa gets the second breakthrough, with Blizzard coming down the track and smashing him towards long-on, only for Luke Wright to collect a safe catch near the boundary.  Shane Watson is the new man at the crease, and trapped lbw off the bowling of Maxwell in no time at all! Meanwhile, Khawaja completes his half-century in 37 deliveries in the 10th over of the innings. Skipper Mike Hussey gets off the mark off the first ball that he faces. OUT! Aiden Blizzard c Luke Wright b Adam Zampa 3(9), Shane Watson lbw Glenn Maxwell 1(2)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Sydney Thunder 41/1 in 5 overs; BATTING: Usman Khawaja 30(20), Aiden Blizzard 1(2): Ben Hilfenhaus bowls the first over for the Melbourne Stars, and Usman Khawaja moves forward and plays a beautiful drive in the fourth ball to send it scurrying towards wide long-on for the first boundary of the innings. The fourth over, bowled by Faulkner, is by far the most expensive, with 16 coming off it. OUT! Kallis is dismissed, getting an edge while  looking to play the slightly wideish delivery towards the cover. The former South African all-rounder departs for 9 off 8 balls. OUT! Jacques Kallis c Peter Handscomb b John Hastings 9(8)

TOSS: Melbourne Stars win the toss and choose to field.

Stars, who lost their opening tie to Adelaide Strikers on Friday, would look to earn their opening win of the season as they take on a dominant side of Thunders at the home ground. However, Thunders, who are coming off a win in their opening game of the season against former champions and crosstown rivals Sydney Sixers in their home tie, would aim for another win here and make it two in arow to continue their dominance. Thus, the tie promises to be a thriller and would indeed be a treat for the fans on a typical Sunday.


Melbourne Stars: Luke Wright, Marcus Stoinis, Kevin Pietersen, Glenn Maxwell, David Hussey (c), Peter Handscomb (wk), James Faulkner, John Hastings, Adam Zampa, Scott Boland, Michael Beer, Ben Hilfenhaus, Evan Gulbis.

Sydney Thunder: Usman Khawaja, Aiden Blizzard, Jacques Kallis, Michael Hussey (c), Shane Watson, Ben Rohrer, Andre Russell, Chris Hartley (w), Fawad Ahmed, Chris Green, Clint McKay, Gurinder Sandhu, Kurtis Patterson.