Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis showcased his prowess in the Major League Cricket (MLC) clash between the San Francisco Unicorns (SFU) and Los Angeles Knight Riders (LAKR) in Dallas on Tuesday, July 18.
Stoinis, who had previously partnered with Adam Zampa in Australia’s successful 2021 T20 World Cup campaign and as teammates for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL), took on Zampa’s bowling with an impressive display.
After SFU won the toss and chose to bat, their opening batsmen, Matthew Wade and Fin Allen, set the stage with a strong 88-run partnership. Stoinis entered the crease in the eighth over, following Allen’s dismissal, and unleashed a flurry of powerful shots against Zampa. In just four deliveries, Stoinis scored 22 runs, consisting of three sixes and a four.
Zampa, who was ranked seventh on the T20I bowling rankings, initially struggled to contain Stoinis but showed great composure to finish his spell with figures of 3/41 off four overs. In the 17th and 19th overs, he conceded a mere five runs in 12 deliveries and crucially dismissed Corey Anderson and Shadab Khan.
Stoinis’ attacking innings, contributing 37 runs off 18 deliveries, injected significant momentum into the SFU innings. Meanwhile, Matthew Wade played a remarkable inning, scoring 78 runs off 41 balls, leading SFU to a commanding total of 212/7 in their 20 overs.
Marcus Stoinis JOINS THE PARTY!🎉!— Major League Cricket (@MLCricket) July 19, 2023
Don't think there are any more LATTES ☕️in the future for Marcus from Adam!
1⃣1⃣3⃣/1⃣ (9.0) pic.twitter.com/IHZktOYMpt
Reflecting on the team’s batting performance, Wade praised the collective effort of all the batsmen, highlighting the absence of a predetermined target and their focus on putting pressure on the opposition bowlers.
The match between SFU and LAKR held significant importance in the inaugural MLC season, with both teams vying for a win to keep their playoff qualification hopes alive. SFU had won one and lost one of their previous games, while LAKR, still searching for their first victory, faced the risk of elimination if they failed to secure a win.
As the current state of the match stands, LAKR, led by Sunil Narine, requires 50 runs from the final 12 deliveries with big-hitter Andre Russell at the crease.