Heat too hot for Stars

Melbourne Stars missed the chance to move level on points with city rivals the Renegades at the top of the Big Bash League after a 24-run defeat to Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.

Shane Warne's Stars fell well short in pursuit of the 172-run victory target, slumping to 147-9 in reply.

Melbourne stay second in the standings as a result, while Brisbane's third win of the campaign boosts their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Brisbane captain James Hopes led the way at the top of the order with 49 off 40 balls to help lay a solid early platform.

Sri Lanka quick Lasith Malinga (3-26) snared Chris Hartley (24) and Hopes after the early wicket of Luke Pomersbach (12) to bring Melbourne back into the game.

However Chris Lynn's 26-run cameo off only 17 balls lifted Heat up to a healthy final total.

England's Luke Wright and Australian veteran Brad Hodge kept the Stars up with the required run-rate however medium-pacer Hopes (3-28) followed up his fine batting effort with three key wickets.

The 34-year-old Queenslander outfoxed Hodge (21), Wright (34) and Glenn Maxwell (13), while overseas recruit Thisara Perera (3-18) dismissed Cameron White and Dave Hussey to effectively end Melbourne's hopes of victory.

Both teams have two group fixtures remaining before the semi-finals begin on January 15.