Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Melbourne Stars batsman Kevin Pietersen hammered an unbeaten 67 to not only beat the Sydney Thunder by eight wickets, but knock them out of the Big Bash League (BBL) as well.
Stars captain Cameron White would have been thrilled with his decision to bowl first after the Thunder lost their top three batsmen for just nine runs.
Aiden Blizzard and Andrew McDonald stemmed the bleeding with a 59-run partnership before McDonald was clean bowled by Michael Beer for 23.
Thunder skipper Chris Hartley only made four runs before he was cleaned up by John Hastings.
Hastings struck again just two balls later when Blizzard was caught by Peter Handscomb at deep square leg for 45 runs, which came off 48 balls and included two boundaries.
Nathan Hauritz made 12 runs before he was caught by Rob Quiney at cover point off the bowling of Clint McKay.
Struck took another wicket the very next ball when Ahillen Beadle was caught by Jackson Bird at backward square leg for seven runs.
Thanks to Blizzard, the Thunder finished on 106/8 off their 20 overs.
Bird, Beer, Hastings and McKay picked up two wickets apiece.
Chasing 109 to win, the Stars got off to a poor start as Luke Wright was caught by Chris Green, who was the substitute fielder, at backward square leg off the bowling of Josh Lalor for four runs.
Pietersen and White made up for the early loss of Wright with a 76-run partnership, during which Pietersen brought up his half-century, before White was brilliantly caught by Lalor at deep midwicket off the bowling of Hauritz for 23.
Pietersen and Handscomb mopped up the rest of the runs to ensure the Stars won by eight wickets with 33 balls to spare.
Pietersen scored 67 off 42 balls, which included 10 boundaries and a six, while Handscomb remained undefeated on 10.
Lalor and Hauritz claimed one wicket each.
Pietersen was named Man of the Match for his match-winning knock of 67.