Maxwell may open Stars’ bid for seven

Sunday Herald Sun - - Cricket - SAM LANDSBERGER

A SHUF­FLE to the Mel­bourne Stars’ top or­der could see su­per­star Glenn Maxwell open the bat­ting in tonight’s Big Bash League blockbuster.

The Sun­day Her­ald Sun un­der­stands Maxwell was last night in the frame to form a new open­ing com­bi­na­tion with English­man Luke Wright, as the Stars shoot for a sev­enth con­sec­u­tive win against Mel­bourne Rene­gades.

Stars’ Box­ing Day hero Robert Quiney has been ruled out with a tight ham­string and will be re­place in the start­ing XI by Kevin Pi­etersen, who jet­ted into town this week.

Mel­bourne Rene­gades yes­ter­day drafted pow­er­ful all­rounder Trent Law­ford into its squad and he looks set to de­but in tonight’s MCG clash.

Law­ford has been play­ing in New Zealand’s Su­per Smash Twenty20 tour­na­ment and was set to touch down in Mel­bourne last night.

The 28-year-old has played for Ade­laide Strik­ers and Syd­ney Six­ers, but en­ters with only eight Twenty20 matches to his name.

The fan favourite will re­place Dwayne Bravo (ham­string) in the Gades’ line-up, but has of­fi­cially taken Matthew Wade’s po­si­tion on the club’s 18-man ros­ter, as he is set to spend the en­tire BBL sea­son in the Aus­tralian camp.

The Rene­gades are scour­ing the globe to sign an in­ter­na­tional star to re­place Bravo.

Strike weapon James Pat­tin­son (ham­string) will miss his third match and has not played for the Rene­gades since BBL04.

In­juries to Pat­tin­son, Bravo and Peter Sid­dle (back) have left the red team’s at­tack thin for wicket-tak­ing pace op­tions.

Maxwell has tra­di­tion­ally bat­ted be­low Pi­etersen at No. 4 in the Stars’ or­der, but ex­celled at No. 3 against Ho­bart Hur­ri­canes on Box­ing Day.

Af­ter opener Quiney de­parted for a bru­tal 75 (43), Maxwell steered the Stars to a com­fort­able vic­tory.

He punched the win­ning runs off Stu­art Broad to fin­ish un­beaten on 59 (28).

“I do feel com­fort­able with the way I’m hit­ting the ball and the way I’m think­ing about the game out there,” Maxwell said.

“I felt like I was still in sec­ond gear and I was strik­ing at 200. I didn’t re­ally try any­thing, I just waited for a ball to give me a bit of length and took ad­van­tage of it.”

Mean­while, Maxwell and Pi­etersen will both wear player mi­cro­phones dur­ing tonight’s broad­cast.

The MCG is also ex­pected to use nar­rower sight screens at tonight’s clash, which will open up ex­tra seat­ing.

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