KEVIN Pietersen called it.

Moments after Melbourne Stars failed with bat and ball in their opening loss to Adelaide Strikers the reformed firebrand declared when the green team clicked it would be invincible.

Their demolition of Hobart Hurricanes at the MCG was just that.

The Stars collected four wickets in the power-play and bookended that with the best death bowling seen this summer.

Pietersen and Hurricanes slogger Darren Sammy praised John Hastings and Scott Boland’s final two overs — filled with yorkers — as the best they’ve seen delivered worldwide.

A trio of run-outs capped this world-class effort in the field and while it was no world-record run chase, it looked as comfortable as a fluffy pillow.


What the? George Bailey’s weird hit

Importantly, the Stars helped themselves to a handy chunk of net run-rate with the eight-wicket win coming with 30 balls to spare.

In a season tighter than the new MCG security, that could determine whether the Stars play a home or away semi-final, or even qualify at all.

The green men will rise in the morning having leapfrogged the Canes and Renegades after sliding into the top four for the first time this summer.

It also continued the Stars’ streaky history.

Like Glenn Maxwell’s batting, they don’t mess around with singles.

Their past 23 matches have seen a BBL record of eight-straight wins followed by four consecutive losses, a run of five wins on the trot, a trio of losses and now a trio of wins to go 3-2.

But the burning question for coach Stephen Fleming is can the roll continue with James Faulkner, Scott Boland and Maxwell now at Australian mentor Darren Lehmann’s disposal?

Luke Wright is congratulated by his Stars teammates after running out Dan Christian.

Luke Wright is congratulated by his Stars teammates after running out Dan Christian.Source:Getty Images

Evan Gulbis (Faulkner), Ben Hilfenhaus (Boland) and Bob Quiney (Maxwell) are the likely replacements for Saturday night’s Etihad Stadium derby against the 2-3 Gades.

Maxwell opened the bowling and had Hurricanes skipper Tim Paine caught for a duck before breaking the stumps to complete John Hastings’ run-out of fellow opener Ben Dunk.

Maxwell’s BBL ends with handy bowling figures of 4-88 from 11 overs and a batting average of 37.75 at a mega strike-rate of 142.5.

And then there was spinner Adam Zampa, again introduced immediately another power-play.

Zampa applied the clamps with three tidy overs and started his fourth with a fortunate stumping of Jono Wells, the ball bouncing off keeper Peter Handscomb and onto the stumps.

Two balls later? Zampa bowled danger man George Bailey after his third half-century, bringing ex-Star Clive Rose to the crease with Hobart floundering at 6-99.

Stars amazing team hat-trick

But the Stars saved their best for last.

Pietersen highlighted the 67 runs conceded in the final four overs against the Strikers as a headache and Boland and Hastings exorcised those demons last night.

Hastings — stiff to be dropped by Australia and now looming as a key to the Stars’ maiden title hopes — sent down a bunch of yorkers in the penultimate over with the final ball cannoning low into nemesis Sammy’s stumps.

Boland then ripped through the tail and a run-out on the last ball gave the Stars a team hat-trick.

Opener Luke Wright continued his hot streak. After failing to reach 50 in 15 knocks, the Englishman has unconquered scores of 109 (63) and 51 (41) on the trot.

But it came at Pietersen’s expense, the countrymen involved in an embarrassing mix-up, leaving KP fuming.

Wright was again there at the end as he and Maxwell raced to the line, clubbing 28 runs from the last eight balls.



By Adam