Warne, Malinga guide Stars to third-straight win

SAM LIENERT
Last updated 00:28 22/12/2012

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Melbourne Stars glamour pair Shane Warne and Lasith Malinga made a difficult Sydney Sixers run-chase impossible as the home side notched a third-straight Big Bash League win at the MCG on Friday night.

Stars batsmen Glenn Maxwell (82 off 50 balls) and Brad Hodge (51 off 33) set up the 21-run victory by blasting the first century stand of the BBL season to propel their side to 6-177.

Malinga (1-18 off four overs) and Warne (2-32 off four) then delivered the knock-out blows in front of a crowd of 14,260.

Sri Lankan speedster Malinga, who earlier in the series took record figures of 6-7, again proved himself the competition's most difficult bowler to handle, with Sixers captain Brad Haddin in no doubt he was the difference.

"He showed why he's No 1 in the world tonight," Haddin said.

"I thought we could chase that total on that wicket but he was just too good in the end."

With the Sixers needing to score heavily, Malinga conceded just two runs off his first over and three off his second, which sent the required run-rate sky-rocketing.

Warne helped build the pressure.

He conceded just three runs off the 14th over of the innings and then just seven off the 16th, while taking the wicket of Moises Henriques.

When Malinga returned for the 17th over, his third, and bowled danger man Haddin (39 off 28 balls), the Sixers' hopes were pretty much over.

Earlier, sloppy Sixers fielding gave Maxwell and Hodge lives early in their innings, which proved extremely costly as they put on a 118-run stand in just 11.3 overs.

The reigning champion Sixers now have one win and two losses while the Stars climbed to 3-1.

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- AAP

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