Tim Paine hit 65 from 52 balls as the Hobart Hurricanes booked their place in Friday’s BIG FINAL by beating the Melbourne Stars by 7 wickets with 11 balls to spare at the MCG.
Paine, who earlier this week was in the news for criticising the Stars’ organistaion on a Melbourne Radio show, an act he hurriedly apologised for yesterday, hit 8 fours as he hurt the hosts far more with bat than loose talk.
Player of the Tournament, Ben Dunk, saw the Hurricanes off to another solid start as they chased 142 to win. The 26-year-old left-hander smashed 30 from 20 balls as he added 51 for the first wicket with Paine.
When Dunk was out to the penultimate ball of the 6-over Powerplay, Shoaib Malik soon followed, but Paine and George Bailey calmed any nerves with a 3rd wicket stand of 64 in 8.1 overs to take their side to the brink.
Paine was run out 15 short of the finish line, but Bailey, unbeaten on 32 and Travis Birt completed the job with ease.
Earlier, Melbourne Stars, previously unbeaten this campaign and the hot favourites to make the final, had won the toss and elected to bat first.
They found themselves 45 for four in the 9th over before Brad Hodge kept hopes alive with 51 from 35 balls including 4 fours and 2 sixes. He was supported by David Hussey (24 from 22) as the pair showed all of their experience in adding 62 in 7.3 overs.
When Hussey was dismissed in the 17th over the Stars lost their way again and their final tally of 141 for eight never looked like being enough.
It had been Callum Boyce who starred with the ball for the Hurricanes. His 3 for 11 included the key scalps of Luke Wright (13), Glenn Maxwell (12) and Hussey.
The 24-year-old leg-break bowler had taken the spine from the Stars innings and later pipped Paine for the man-of-the-match award.
The Stars are left to rue another missed opportunity. They have reached the semi-finals in all three BBL seasons but have fallen at the semi-final stage each time.
The Hobart Hurricanes have guaranteed their participation on the Champions League, but before then will play either the Perth Scorchers or the Sydney Sixers in Friday’s BIG FINAL.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
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