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AB de Villiers fires as Heat down Stars

By AAP Newswire

South African great AB de Villiers has kept the Brisbane Heat in the finals hunt, with his first BBL half-century propelling his side to a 71-run win over the faltering Melbourne Stars.

After winning the bat flip, the Heat made 5-186 on the back of some lusty late hitting by de Villiers, the Stars fizzled to be all out for 115 runs in reply at the MCG on Saturday night.

The Stars lost their last eight wickets for just 47 runs to slump to their third loss in a row.

Brisbane were seventh going into the clash with three defeats in a row, but can still make the finals with a win against the Renegades at Marvel Stadium on Monday.

Melbourne's green team haven't won a game since they locked up top spot and head into Friday night's qualifying final against the second-placed side at the MCG with serious concerns.

"It wasn't great, was it?" Stars coach David Hussey conceded.

"I thought AB de Villiers really took the game away from us.

"Fortunately we've qualified first and when we wake up and read the papers and listen to the radio we're still going to be finishing first, which should be celebrated."

Marcus Stoinis, the competition's leading run scorer, belted 16 off the first over but departed for 17; Peter Handscomb top-scored with just 27.

Glenn Maxwell (1), Nic Maddinson (9) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (0) were dismissed in quick succession in a pivotal batting collapse.

Mitchell Swepson (3-31), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-11) and James Pattinson (2-17) did the damage for the Heat with the ball.

De Villiers helped set up the result, blasting six sixes on his way to 71 from 37 balls, with three of them coming from the final over of the innings bowled by Stars debutant Dilbar Hussain.

The veteran also took the gloves in place of regular wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson and was involved in a run out and the stumping of Adam Zampa (1).

Hussain finished with figures of 1-56 after de Villiers holed out to mid-off off the last ball of the innings.

The Heat were 1-38 after three overs, but Zampa (3-27) and Sandeep Lamichhane (1-16) helped apply the brakes.

Chris Lynn made 34 from 31 deliveries before he was brilliantly caught by Nick Larkin, who took a diving catch at full pace at deep square-leg.