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Melbourne Stars Storm into BBL Final After Worrall & Maxwell Heroics

Cricketnext Staff |February 14, 2019, 6:03 PM IST
Melbourne Stars Storm into BBL Final After Worrall & Maxwell Heroics

Melbourne Stars rode fast bowler Daniel Worrall and skipper Glenn Maxwell’s heroics to beat the Hobart Hurricanes in the semifinal of the Big Bash League and book a place in the final of the 2018-19 season.

Right-armer Worrall starred with the ball and bagged 4/23, his best T20 career figures, as the Hurricanes huffed and puffed their way to 153/7 in 20 overs.

Under pressure, Melbourne achieved the target in 18.5 overs, with Maxwell top-scoring with an unbeaten 33-ball 43.

His partner Seb Gotch contributed 33 runs and the duo stitched together an unbroken stand of 66, to take Stars a step closer to the title.

From the very start of the match, Stars looked in control and thwarted all hopes of a Hurricanes comeback.

Worrall got the visitors off to the perfect start with two crucial wickets – Matthew Wade & Caleb Jewell - in the second over of the innings, reducing them to 5/2.

After the early wickets, D’Arcy Short led the counter-attack with a quickfire 35 off 21 balls, but perished to Adam Zampa, in a bid to up the ante.

A half-century by Ben McDermott (53) and 37 by George Bailey pushed the Hurricanes to a competitive total with the duo putting together a 75-run partnership.

Such was the situation after Short’s departure in the sixth over, that both Bailey and McDermott couldn’t get any boundaries for the next eight overs, and that hampered their scoring rate.

Bailey later unleashed two massive sixes off Zampa to break the shackles but became Worrall's third victim soon.

McDermott was out for 53 off Dwayne Bravo in the 18th over, as the Hurricanes lost three wickets in the last three overs.

In the second innings, batting looked a lot easier with almost all of Stars’ batsmen contributing to the chase.

Except for an early dismissal of Ben Dunk (9), Melbourne’s chase looked in control, first courtesy a 41-stand between Marcus Stoinis (18) and Peter Handscomb (35) and later due to the stand between Maxwell and Gotch.

Another spin sensation from Afghanistan, Qais Ahmed’s effort of 3/33 went in vain as none of the Hobart bowlers were effective against the opposition batsmen.

The 18-year-old did bag two quick wickets of Nic Maddison and Handscomb, but didn’t get much support from the other end, which meant that Stars won comfortably in the end.

In the other semi-final, the Melbourne Renegades and the Sydney Sixers will fight it out on Friday, to make it to the final.

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