Stars v Hurricanes, BBL 1st semi-final, Melbourne February 4, 2014

Hurricanes upset Stars to reach final

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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on February 5, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    @badyon - Totally agree. Paine should be well and truly in front of Wade. Paine has worked hard to get back to the top and is performing well.

  • InvisiblePJs on February 5, 2014, 10:29 GMT

    I just realised how much I've missed the football season. That's as good as Collingwood being beaten!

  • Rooboy on February 5, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    @badyon - absolutely. Paine is sooo far ahead of Wade with both bat and gloves, it's ridiculous. I know Paine has had his injury concerns but he seems to be going ok now, so there's no excuse for Wade getting anywhere near the Aussie line up again. As someone wrote on a different article recently, Lyon would have a sub 30 bowling average if not for Wade, he's not up to it.

  • bren19 on February 5, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    @badyon - I could not agree more. The selectors desire to be proven right about wade has gone to the extreme. Face it guys, you were wrong, wade is useless with the gloves and only average (at best) with the bat.

  • badyon on February 5, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Australia's top 3 keepers, in order: 1. Paine. 2. Haddin. 3. Anyone but Wade.

  • Insult_2_Injury on February 5, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    Dashgar - The Champions League also has a knock out finals stage. That's the way you find the best team, they perform under pressure, that's what makes Champions.

  • Insult_2_Injury on February 5, 2014, 3:04 GMT

    "Stars" are quickly developing a reputation as serial under achievers when it matters. The Eddie / Collingwood link is obvious. Get rid of Eddie and the "No Show" Maxwell and the side might then have a chance. Maxwell is all hype and no substance and has clearly shown this year in domestic & T20, that he is over rated. The lesson was no simpler than the front row seat he had to Bailey in last night's final & the T20's. You can strike at 250 by playing cricket shots. With the MCG roped down to the size of a suburban U12 ground, Bailey, Hodge, Paine, etc proved you don't have to do circus tricks to up the rate. Looks like Maxwell would be more suited to the lycra trampolinist role or break dancing , because as irrelevant as they are to cricket, Maxwell is just as much a forgettable curiosity.

  • Shaggy076 on February 5, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    The BBL goes for long enough, holding up the first class season. To extend it we would be taking further opportunities away from developing test capable cricketers. The current system is fine and employed in numerous sports. That's the thing with finals its a pressure situation, Australia found themselves in the same place in a T20 world cup where one performance cost them. I suggest though that the minor premiers and the eventual champions should go to the Champions league. If the minor premiers win the championship then both finalists.

  • Dashgar on February 5, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    So stupid that this one game costs the Stars a spot in the Champions League. Qualification for a tournament should be earned through consistent performance, not a one off game. Very unfair.

  • Gizza on February 5, 2014, 0:29 GMT

    As I said elsewhere on the internet, the Stars first adopted South Africa's shade of green and now their choking habit. In the end they had a home ground advantage compared to Hobart so the current finals system isn't completely unfair to the higher placed teams. They only have themselves to blame.

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