Melbourne Stars v Adelaide Strikers, BBL, MCG January 19, 2012

McKay, Hussey take Stars to semis

The Report by Andrew Fuss

Melbourne Stars 4 for 129 (Hussey 41*, White 28) beat Adelaide Strikers 125 (Ferguson 41, McKay 3-17) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Melbourne Stars have earned a spot in the semi-finals, knocking Brisbane Heat out of fourth place with a comfortable six-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers at the MCG.

The Stars' pace attack did most of the damage on a tacky MCG deck with Man of the Match Clint McKay leading the way, taking 3 for 17 off his four overs, including the key wickets of opening pair Daniel Harris and Michael Klinger.

The Strikers failed to live up to their moniker, struggling to strike the ball cleanly throughout the innings, managing just four boundaries and one six. Callum Ferguson's 41 off just 29 balls was the only resistance for the visitors as they were bundled out for 125, the last six wickets falling for just 25 runs.

The hosts got off to a shaky start in reply, losing Rob Quiney to a brilliant bit of fielding from Nathan Lyon off his own bowling, taking the ball cleanly and flicking the ball back at the stumps to catch Quiney short of his ground.

And when New Zealand import James Franklin and former Victoria spinner Bryce McGain struck in consecutive overs, the Strikers were in with a chance - the Stars stumbling to 3 for 38 off seven overs.

Out of form Stars captain Cameron White - who had made just 13 runs in his previous six innings - strode to the crease with the game on the line and finally found the middle of the bat, working his way to 28 before hauling out on the boundary with just 24 runs to get.

Despite some tight bowling from Striker's spin pair Nathan Lyon (20 runs off 3.5 overs) and Aaron O'Brien (12 runs off his four overs), David Hussey (41 off 36 balls) guided the hosts to victory with seven balls to spare.

The Stars' win means they will travel to Perth to play the Scorchers on Saturday, while the Hurricanes will host the Sixers on Sunday.