Cadbury will be bringing Match Moments to life this season, celebrating the moments during and after each game - including match reports, milestones and player interviews...
The BBL Ladder Leaders Semi-Final ‘hoodoo’ has continued with the fourth-placed Melbourne Stars cruising to victory against the top-placed Hobart Hurricanes in tonight’s sudden-death Big Bash clash at Blundstone Arena.
It was very reminiscent of last season’s encounter in reverse, when the Hurricanes shocked in-form BBL|07 Minor Premiers the Scorchers over at Perth’s new Optus Stadium, after falling into fourth place on Net Run Rate with five wins and five losses.
But this time it was the Stars with just seven wins and seven losses who bumped off the purple Minor Premiers who boasted ten wins and four losses.
It is sure to reignite the debate over a 1st vs 2nd and 3rd vs 4th play-off ‘double-chance’ system where the loser of Qualifying Semi-Final One plays the winner of Elimination Semi-Final Two to reach the Grand Final - adding just one extra game to the Finals Series.
To add insult to injury, Hurricanes fan favourite George Bailey suffered a seemingly serious right shoulder injury diving in the field to stop a ball on the off-side boundary from a crisply-struck Glenn Maxwell cover drive.
While he stopped the ball going for four, Bailey immediately looked to be in severe pain, slumping back to his haunches after initially getting to his feet.
But the night belonged to Maxwell who hit an unbeaten 43 from 33 balls, as the Stars reached the target of 154 with seven balls to spare.
Skipper Maxwell played a cool ‘captain’s knock’ after coming to the crease with the Stars on the brink at 3-78.
The knock, that included just four boundaries, came days after Maxwell smacked 82 to get the Stars past the Sydney Sixers and into the top four.
Afghani teen sensation Qais Ahmad kept the Hurricanes in the match with 3-33 (4.0) in the middle overs.
The leg-spinner produced some magical deliveries, including an unplayable ball to clean bowl the dangerous Marcus Stoinis for 18 off 20 balls.
But it simply wasn't enough, with Seb Gotch making 33 not out from 22 balls, sealing the win emphatically with a six over cover to finish the innings at 4-157 in 18.5 overs.
Opener Ben Dunk was out caught Wade bowled Archer for nine, Peter Handscomb was LBW Ahmad for 35 and Nic Maddinson was caught Rose bowled Ahmad for 18.
For the Hurricanes bowlers Archer was 1-33 from four overs, Riley Meredith was 0-23 from four overs, Short was 0-18 from two overs, Faulkner was 0-46 from 3.5 overs and Clive Rose was 0-4 from his single over.
Earlier, Stars paceman Daniel Worrall ‘starred’ with the ball as the Hurricanes wobbled to an under-par 7-153 in their first Semi-Final in Hobart since BBL|01 seven years ago.
A half century to Ben McDermott pushed the Hurricanes to an average competitive total, but it was Worrall who stole the show with 4-23 from his four overs – his best T20 figures and the equal second-best bowling figures ever recorded in a Big Bash Semi-Final.
Worrall got the visitors off to the perfect start at Bellerive Oval on Thursday night, with two key scalps in the second over to stun the 12,404 home crowd, and another two late in the innings.
Worrall, considered an Ashes smoky for Australia, had the ball nipping early and dismissed in-form opener and skipper Matthew Wade caught behind with a faint nick for just two off four balls with his first delivery.
The seamer then clean bowled newcomer Caleb Jewell five balls later for just one, as the Hurricanes slumped to the very unfamiliar territory of being 2-5 after being sent in.
Their previous worst start was 1-10 against the Melbourne Renegades away at Marvel Stadium during their first loss of this season.
Thankfully, the early wickets didn't phase BBL|08’s leading run-scorer D'Arcy Short at the other end, who mounted a rapid counter-attack making 35 off 21 balls including four boundaries and two sixes.
But when he holed out attempting another maximum over long-on, off the leg-spin of Australian cricketer Adam Zampa, it left Hobart in a rare spot of serious trouble at 3-42 after the power play.
McDermott and veteran George Bailey then resurrected the innings with a 75-run partnership but went eight overs without hitting a boundary.
Bailey (37 from 32 balls) unleashed two massive sixes off Zampa to break the shackles but became Worrall's third victim when he couldn't clear long on, caught by Stars skipper Glenn Maxwell.
McDermott holed out for 53 to Dwayne Bravo in the 18th over – again caught by Maxwell, as the Hurricanes lost three wickets in the last three overs.
Middle order batsman Simon Milenko was out LBW Worrall for three off six balls, while all-rounder James Faulkner suffered some mid-wicket confusion with fellow tall-timber Jofra Archer, to be run out for four off four balls attempting a second run.
Archer finished not out with seven from four balls and Clive Rose made four from three balls in the unfamiliar role of batting to reach 7-153, after such great starts from the top six Hurricanes batsmen all season.
For the Stars, spinners Maxwell recorded 0-22 from his three overs, Sandeep Lamichhane went for 0-31 from four overs and Zampa finished with 1-31 from four overs.
The two remaining pace bowlers Dwayne Bravo recorded 1-32 from four overs while Marcus Stoinis only bowled one over making 0-10.
The Melbourne Renegades and the Sydney Sixers will meet in the other Semi-Final on Friday night in Melbourne to play the Stars in the Grand Final this Sunday afternoon.
The Melbourne Stars won the pre-game bat flip from Tasmanian State Premier Will Hodgman and quickly elected to bowl first.
Faulkner returned from his knee injury at the expense of fellow pace bowler David Moody for the Hurricanes, who had won all six regular season matches in Hobart this season.
The fourth-placed Stars, who thrashed the third-placed Sydney Sixers to qualify for the BBL Finals, dropped their Tasmanian Tigers seamer Jackson Bird for all-rounder Evan Gulbis to add greater batting depth to their line-up.
Hobart Hurricanes: Matthew Wade (captain), Qais Ahmad, Jofra Archer, George Bailey, James Faulkner, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Clive Rose, D'Arcy Short.
Melbourne Stars: Glenn Maxwell (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nic Maddinson, Marcus Stoinis, Dan Worrall, Adam Zampa.