The foundation of Brisbane Heat’s 103-run victory over Melbourne Stars in the first game of the 2023–24 BBL season at The Gabba on Thursday (December 7) was a brilliant 61–ball 99* from Colin Munro. When the Heat were put to bat, Munro’s masterclass and the helpful cameos of the other players led them to an impressive score of 214.
Munro set the tone for the batting early on, taking the Stars bowling apart during the powerplay. Stars’ bowling was poor, and because they frequently let hitters off the hook, their catching was even more clumsy. Except for Munro failing to reach the three-figure mark, the Heat had an easy game. After the score of 214/3 was announced, the Stars needed to perform on par with the New Zealander, and they had the right man in captain Glenn Maxwell.
But despite his early burst against Spencer Johnson, which saw him strike four fours in a row, the all-rounder was unable to sustain his form. The only meaningful inning was Hilton Cartwright’s cameo, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Stars from falling apart badly. Mitchell Swepson was the best bowler for the Heat with a three-fer, but the other bowlers all shared in the rewards.