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Bailey Queries BBL Finals Format

12 February 2019

Hobart Hurricanes veteran George Bailey says there's merit in giving the top two Big Bash League teams a second bite of the cherry come finals time.

The Hurricanes finished two wins clear on top of the BBL|08 Ladder to earn a Home Semi-Final on Thursday night against the Melbourne Stars at Blundstone Arena.

But there's little margin for error, with the match a 'must-win' sudden death encounter.

Bailey said with the BBL now expanded to a full home and away season of 14 games per club, it should follow the Indian Premier League (IPL) format where the top two teams play off for a Grand Final berth in Week One of the finals - but get a second chance if they lose.

"I think that the finals system in the IPL is quite good, where one and two play off," the 36-year-old told reporters.

"Three plays four and the winner plays the loser of the first semi, giving them a double chance.

"The longer the tournament goes, the more you can mount an argument that to finish first or second should be rewarded."

Ever the diplomat, Bailey added he understood that high-stakes 'sudden death' clashes are part of Twenty20's appeal.

"The team who plays two good games is going to end up winning the title, and that's well deserved as well."

While the Hurricanes locked up top spot with a game to play, the Stars only secured fourth position with a 94-run win over the Sydney Sixers in their last regular-season match on Sunday afternoon.

It was headlined by a masterful 82 from just 43 balls by skipper Glenn Maxwell, who was crowned International Male Twenty20 Cricketer Of The Year at Monday night's Australian Cricket Awards.

"The challenge with someone like Maxi, is how dynamic he is - a player who can hit the ball 360 degrees," Bailey said.

"You try and block one part of the field, and he seems to access another part. He's someone you're pretty keen to get rid of early."

But Bailey, who handed the Hurricanes' captaincy to Matthew Wade not long before the season started, said it would be foolish to focus on just one player.

"The other one to be a bit concerned about is Nic Maddinson, who's hardly done anything all tournament.

"That worries me a little bit too because he's a quality player," Bailey said.

"They've got some phenomenal strikers, dangerous against pace or spin. They'll be pretty battle-hardened and ready to play under pressure."

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Our 'League Of Heroes': Captain Matthew Wade, D'Arcy Short, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, George Bailey, Simon Milenko, James Faulkner, Jofra Archer (West Indies), Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan), Clive Rose, Riley Meredith, David Moody, Jake Doran, Alex Doolan, Jarrod Freeman, Tom Rogers and Aaron Summers. Retired: Johan Botha, Injured: Tymal Mills, Australia Test Duties: Tim Paine.

The Melbourne Stars are ‘star-studded’ with Australian cricketers Glenn Maxwell (captain), Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Adam Zampa, Ben Dunk and Jackson Bird, International stars Dwayne Bravo and Sandeep Lamichhane, plus State players Seb Gotch and Daniel Worrall.

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BBL|08 FINALS SCHEDULE

7:30pm THIS Thursday Night 14 February

First Semi-Final, Hobart Hurricanes vs Melbourne Stars - Blundstone Arena, Hobart.

CLICK HERE - MATCH TICKETS

CLICK HERE - MATCH-DAY HOSPITALITY PACKAGES

7:30pm THIS Friday Night 15 February

Second Semi-Final, Melbourne Renegades vs Sydney Sixers - Marvel Stadium, Melbourne.

2:45pm THIS Sunday Afternoon 17 February

Grand Final, Hurricanes OR Stars vs Renegades OR Sixers - Venue TBC.