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Liam Plunkett’s four-wicket haul proves in vain for the Stars

Adelaide Strikers won by 41 runs.

Liam Plunkett’s four-wicket haul proves in vain for the Stars

England paceman Liam Plunkett took four wickets but could not prevent Melbourne Stars suffering a 41-run defeat to Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League.

Plunkett finished with figures of four for 36 after removing Jake Weatherald, Travis Head, Colin Ingram and Rashid Khan during his four overs.

The hosts posted 178 for five at the Adelaide Oval, with Plunkett’s Stars falling considerably short in their chase as they slipped to a second successive loss.

Strikers captain Head was closing in on a half-century after hitting a hat-trick of sixes off Plunkett when he mistimed a slower ball from the 33-year-old on 43 and was caught by Jackson Bird in the deep in the 13th over.

Plunkett, who earlier had opener Weatherald caught by wicketkeeper Seb Gotch off the opening ball of the fifth over, later removed Afghanistan international Khan and Strikers top-scorer Ingram in the space of three deliveries.

Khan had scored 13 when he was bowled by a full-toss, before Plunkett ended the resistance of South African Ingram by having him caught by Evan Gulbis at backward square for 57.

Surrey player Plunkett was less successful with the bat, scoring four runs from six deliveries before a yorker from Michael Neser saw him become the seventh wicket to fall with the Stars 68 runs short of victory.

Neser, Liam O’Connor and Wes Agar each took two wickets for Adelaide, with team-mate Ben Laughlin claiming his third by dismissing Bird to leave Melbourne all out with four balls remaining and lift the Strikers to second place in the table.

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