Stars v Hurricanes, BBL 2013-14, Melbourne January 21, 2014

Wright fifty keeps Stars unbeaten

ESPNcricinfo staff

Melbourne Stars 5 for 135 (Wright 52, Laughlin 2-28) beat Hobart Hurricanes 9 for 131 (Birt 31, Stoinis 2-12, Hastings 2-15)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The Melbourne Stars continued their unbeaten run with a convincing five-wicket win against Hobart Hurricanes in Melbourne. The top three teams - Stars, Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers - have qualified for the semi-finals and the fourth place will be fought for between Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes and Adelaide Strikers.

The Hurricanes lost Tim Paine on the first ball of the match when they were asked to bat but Ben Dunk and Jonathan Wells steered them to safety. However, Wells was sent back in the fifth over by John Hastings and Shoaib Malik was run out for a diamond duck five balls later, within which Dunk hit two fours, to leave them at 41 for 3. Travis Birt charged the innings by targeting Scott Boland, who was hit for consecutive sixes. The stand of 43, which lasted 6.3 overs, was broken when both the set batsmen were dismissed by Marcus Stoinis, leaving them at a precarious 84 for 5.

Aiden Blizzard struck two fours and a six but the rest of the batsmen failed to build on the platform Dunk and Birt had laid as the last five batsmen put together only 17 runs. Hastings took one more wicket to finish with an economical 2 for 15 from four overs and Blizzard was unbeaten on 28 as the Hurricanes were restricted to 131 for 9.

The Stars also lost one of their openers early with Cameron White falling for 4 on Dimitri Mascarenhas' first ball. Luke Wright stayed strong at the other end even though he didn't get much support for substantial partnerships. In nearly seven overs Wright and Brad Hodge put on 42 out of which the latter made only 12 off 26 balls. When he got out in the 12th over, the Stars needed 59 from 55. Wright brought up his fifty and took the team past 100 but his wicket in the 15th over dented their chase further, but they needed less than run-a-ball by then.

A four from Peter Handscomb on the first ball of the last over took the Stars home and gave them their seventh win in seven matches.