Captain Glenn Maxwell rued early wickets, as the Melbourne Stars were defeated by the Sydney Sixers by 19 runs in Saturday's rain-affected Big Bash League final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Inclement weather reduced the fixture to 12 overs per innings. The Sixers posted 116 for five before limiting the Stars to 97 for six.
The defeat was the Stars' third in a BBL final. They had finished at the top of the log after the round-robin stage of this year's tournament.
The hard-hitting Maxwell will be part of Australia's squad for this month's T20I series in South Africa. He will then play for the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League.
Maxwell's take on 2019-20 BBL final
“The fact we had such a dominant season – we played so well throughout the whole tournament and we were able to play a lot of our list and get some game time into different people – it was just such a successful season, to see different guys stand up at different times,” said Maxwell.
“To fall short in a game where we thought we were right in it, even at the end we had Nathan Coulter-Nile and Nick Larkin hitting the ball beautifully, we never felt out of it, even when it was 20 an over, we still backed these guys to get this, it's hard to take.
“If we got off to a half-decent start and got going, it's comfortably chaseable but losing three wickets in the first three overs probably hurts you. Marcus Stoinis picked out the one bloke on the fence and I got the one ball that Steve O'Keefe spins all tournament. It happens.
“I thought we bowled okay, but I thought we still gave them about 15 or 20 too many. Through the middle then we just leaked a bit, we just mis-executed and got Jordan Silk into the game. We take one more wicket there and it's probably around 100 off 12 overs and quite comfortable, we don't have to play around with the batting order too much, we could go in the way we've been going.
“But when it's around 10-an-over, we had to probably go a bit more aggressive. Hence why I went up to three and tried to take it on.”
The 31-year-old Maxwell has not played T20I cricket since October 2019. He will likely be in the XI for the series opener at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on 21 February.