The result: Melbourne Stars 8-156 (Stoinis 81, Lalor 3-43) lost to Brisbane Heat 0-158 (Cutting 81no, Bryant 71no) by 10 wickets with 60 balls to spare.
The match in a tweet: BIG BASH BOOM! Cutting, Bryant thrash 13 sixes and 10 fours to pulverize the Stars and boost their finals chances
The hero: Ben Cutting's reputation as a six-hitter is well known, but on Friday night he took it to another level. Opening the batting in search of 157 runs in quick time to boost Brisbane's Net Run Rate, Cutting unleashed. On his way to the second-fastest half-century in BBL history, a 17-ball knock that sits behind Chris Gayle's 12-ball feat, Cutting hit four fours and five sixes, including a hat-trick of maximums against leg-spinner Adam Zampa. He finished unbeaten with 81 from 30 balls, with four fours and eight sixes.
The supporting act: With Brendon McCullum announcing his BBL days are over after this season, the Heat and Chris Lynn are after a new Bash Brother. Joe Burns wants a crack, Cutting could make a fair claim, but youngster Max Bryant might be best placed to take up the mantle. The hard-hitting right-hander exploded tonight with a career-best 71 from 30 balls, including 11 boundaries, five of them sixes.
The supporting cast: Josh Lalor is a wicket-taking machine. His 3-43 on Friday night, albeit expensive, took his season tally to 20 and behind only league-leader Kane Richardson, who has 23 scalps. To put his BBL|08 in perspective, his haul this summer is more than all the wickets he took between BBL|04 and BBL|07, combined. In those seasons he collected 17 wickets, but at 31 he appears to be hitting his peak.
The consolation effort: Marcus Stoinis has been in rare form this summer. Ten matches, 442 runs, four half-centuries, an average of 63.14 and a strike rate of 135.16. His 81 was his season-high score and was more than half of the Stars total. The powerful right-hander hit seven fours and two huge sixes, making the straight boundaries of the Gabba took inadequate. He was out in the closing stages of the first innings, run out by Alex Ross in the deep coming back for a risky two. His promotion to opener has worked wonders, which has one thinking whether he could do that at international level.
The stat: The Heat hit 94 in the powerplay, the most EVER in the history of the BBL. Bryant contributed 58 from 23, Cutting 32 from 13. Ten fours and six sixes were plundered. No bowler was spared. It was awesome.
The aftermath: The Heat's blitz was exactly what the doctor ordered as it put their NRR above that of the Sydney Thunder's. Now for them to make the finals, they need the Stars to lose against the Sixers on Sunday and the Thunder to either lose to the Hurricanes or win and maintain a lower NRR. However, if the Stars beat the Sixers they're in. And for the Thunder, they're going to need to beat the Hurricanes by around 60 runs or chase a total inside 12 overs AND need the Stars to lose. Plenty happening.
Melbourne Stars: Ben Dunk, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb (wk), Glenn Maxwell (c), Nic Maddinson, Seb Gotch, Dwayne Bravo, Jackson Bird, Daniel Worrall, Sandeep Lamichanne, Adam Zampa