BBL round-up: Will Lynn be back for Strikers and how did Stars lose that?
Australia's Test stars make a quiet return while Nathan Ellis doesn't notice his hat-trick
As the push for finals gathers pace here's a few things that stood out from the last week of action in the BBL
Slow start for Test playersThe much-heralded return of Australia's Test starts didn't quite begin with a bang. Marnus Labuschagne top-scored with 46 in Brisbane Heat's win over Adelaide Strikers where Travis Head and Alex Carey made three runs between them. David Warner couldn't really get going against Perth Scorchers although there wasn't much he could have against the yorker from Riley Meredith that cleaned him up in Hobart. Likewise for Usman Khawaja, he got a good delivery from Harry Conway in the game against Strikers. Steven Smith was in good touch against Scorchers at the SCG but Nathan Lyon didn't have things all his own way as Nick Hobson sent him for a 105-metre six.
Lynn departsChris Lynn won't see out the competition with Strikers after his much-publicised deal which allowed him to leave early to join the ILT20 after there had been a chance of him missing the BBL entirely. But he's certainly brought value and departs as the tournament's second-highest run-scorer (he and team-mate Matt Short are way out in front). Early in the tournament Lynn couldn't quite make the most of his starts, but he turned that around with consecutive scores of 87, 64 and latterly an unbeaten 69 off 37 balls as Strikers piled up 202 against Melbourne Renegades.
However, whether he'll be back next year remains uncertain. "You can't say 'no, I don't want to come back' or 'I'm locked in' or whatever it may be," Lynn said. "There's a lot of conversations to be had and I'm sure the right decision will happen."
Davies a shining light amid batting woesSydney Thunder's batting is stuttering badly (although not quite 15 all out badly) which is putting their finals prospects at risk. However, Ollie Davies is building himself a very good season. He has now passed 300 runs - one of just five batters to do it so far - with two more impressive innings. He was head and shoulders above the rest of the Thunder batting against Scorchers with a rapid half-century then also top-scored against Hurricanes amid another top-order collapse.
Memories of the derby finalIn a re-run of the 2018-19 when Renegades and Stars faced off, it was a question of how did Stars manage to lose that? The Melbourne derby clashes have certainly not been dull this season with the first game lit up by Adam Zampa's failed attempt at a run out backing up. In the return fixture Renegades again came out on top when Stars somehow failed to complete their chase having needed 21 off 25 balls with seven wickets in hand. Kane Richardson was superb and Will Sutherland held his nerve in the final over with 12 to defend, but it compounded what is becoming a miserable season for Stars. Injuries haven't helped - Glenn Maxwell has missed the whole tournament and Marcus Stoinis recent games with a hamstring niggle - and it has left their campaign all-but done.
Hurricanes' reliefHobart Hurricanes nearly messed up a chase of their own. Needing 132 against Stars, they were seemingly home with ease at 94 for 1 in the 12th over before mayhem set in. Caleb Jewell had made 70 off 44 balls out of those 94 runs when he departed with Hurricanes then almost falling in a heap. Tim David fell over his own bat as he was run out and the rest of the middle order disappeared to a range if indiscreet shots. No. 10 Nathan Ellis, captaining in place of the absent Matthew Wade, walked out with three needed in the 18th over and finally got the job done, although even the winning runs came from a thick inside edge. However, after that alarm, earning back-to-back wins with victory over Thunder made it a good few days for Hurricanes.
Performance of the weekIt felt like a good week for the bowlers. Jason Behrendorff was superb against Heat as was Sean Abbott against Scorchers at the SCG as he made it three three-wicket hauls in a row. But Nathan Ellis takes it for his 4 for 27 against Thunder, a career-best T20 haul, which included a hat-trick that he didn't notice. Having removed Matthew Gilkes with the last ball of the fourth over, Ellis did not bowl again until the 15th when he had Davies superbly caught at cover before spearing one through Nathan McAndrew but the time between overs meant the significance of the moment passed him by.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo