MARCUS Stoinis’ late father Chris was in the emerging superstar’s thoughts for every minute of his breathtaking knock which nearly got Melbourne Stars out of jail in their Big Bash opener on Wednesday night.
Stoinis, 28, was run out for 99 – which came off just 51 balls – in the final over as he posted the fourth-highest score in Stars history in the 15-run defeat to Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.
Chris Stoinis died after a long battle with blood cancer last month and Marcus on Thursday flew home to Perth to spend the weekend with his family.
The Stars play Perth Scorchers at the WACA Ground on Boxing Day.
“I just miss him (dad),” Stoinis said.
“It’s weird, that was probably the only thing I was thinking of when I was out there. I’m sure he’s watching somewhere.
“I don’t know what spot I’m in. I’m really just a lot more relaxed than I thought I’d be, but I miss him every single day.”
Stoinis’s innings should rubberstamp his place in Australia’s ODI squad next month and the powerful player is also inching towards a baggy green as the all-rounder Australia still craves.
Stoinis’s ODI selection would leave a hole in the Stars’ middle-order and the green team will play without Kevin Pietersen against the Scorchers, who is likely to be replaced by Rob Quiney.
Pietersen will fly home to England for Christmas and return for the Stars’ home game against the Heat on January 2.
Stoinis became the first player to score a half-century and take three wickets in a BBL game.
The West Australian removed Brendon McCullum, Joe Burns and Mark Steketee to be the pick of Melbourne’s seam bowlers with 3-38.
Stars coach Stephen Fleming was disappointed with his team’s attitude in the field as they were set 207 to win in the season-opener.
“I think we could’ve hustled and put a bit more time pressure on them,” Stoinis said.
“We were a bit slow (as they ran) a couple of twos – I was guilty of that.
“More so our attention in the field and our attitude in the field was the main thing we’ll be looking at.
“The attitude is the main thing, if we turn that around then the rest will take care of itself.”
Stoinis was drenched in sweat after his whirlwind knock on a humid night and said he was disappointed to fall one metre short of his maiden Twenty20 ton.
“I felt like I was out, but I was so cooked I just threw my body to try and get there. I’m not going to lie – you want a hundred,” he said.
“But it doesn’t really matter too much – we didn’t win the game.
“That (ball) needed to go for six, so when I saw it going to the bloke on the boundary I just thought, ‘Well, we’ve lost’ more so than getting the hundred.
“It’s a good start (personally). I’ve been saying in the media a little bit that I’m ready to go and I’m feeling really good, so it’s good to actually just do it.”
Here, stories written by Sam Landsberger at themorningbulletin