Hurricanes upset Stars to reach final
Hobart Hurricanes 3 for 142 (Paine 65) beat Melbourne Stars 8 for 141 (Hodge 51, Boyce 3-11) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Legspinner Cameron Boyce helped the Hobart Hurricanes reach their first Big Bash League final with a comfortable victory over the previously unbeaten Melbourne Stars at the MCG. The Stars had been considered the hot favourites to win the tournament after winning all eight of their matches before this semi-final while the Hurricanes had only just scraped in, but Boyce and Tim Paine played key roles in denying the Stars.
Boyce claimed 3 for 11 from three overs to stifle the home team's progress with the bat and his wickets were all key batsmen - Luke Wright lbw, Glenn Maxwell caught at long-off and David Hussey taken at long-on for 24. Hussey and Brad Hodge had at least put on 62 for the fifth wicket as they led a recovery from 4 for 45, but when Hussey departed it affected the Stars' chances of pushing up to a seriously competitive total.
Hodge was able to reach his half-century but fell for 51 from 35 balls when he was bowled by Doug Bollinger and a couple of wickets to Ben Laughlin in the final over helped restrict the Stars to 8 for 141. Any thoughts the Stars had of defending that total were scuppered by a strong opening partnership between Paine and the Player of the Tournament Ben Dunk, who put on 51 in less than six overs as Lasith Malinga, back in Australia after a trip home to Sri Lanka, struggled for consistency.
Dunk fell when he got a leading edge to point off John Hastings for 30 and when James Muirhead had Shoaib Malik taken at deep cover the Stars might have thought they had a sniff, but Paine and George Bailey kept the Hurricanes on target. Paine and Bailey put on 64 for the third wicket and although Paine was run out for 65 with 15 runs still required, Bailey (32 not out) was able to steer the chase home with the help of Travis Birt.
It meant another missed opportunity for the Stars, who have reached the semi-finals in all three BBL seasons so far but are yet to force their way into the decider and therefore the Champions League. In Friday's final, the Hurricanes will meet the winner of Wednesday's semi-final between the Sydney Sixers and the Perth Scorchers; the winner of that match will host the final.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here