Thunder thwart Stars stunner, kick ‘Canes out of finals

SYDNEY Thunder have survived a Melbourne Stars-inspired scare to secure their spot in the BBL|12 finals series. Chasing the Stars’ miserly total of 7-119 at the MCG, the Thunder made hard work of it having stumbled to 7-88, but skipper Chris Green (6*) got his side over the line alongside Nathan McAndrew (12*).

The Thunder’s golden chance to cement a fourth-straight finals series was very nearly squandered, and in typical fashion, the Stars suffered some self-inflicted wounds in the loss. Despite spinning up a crucial 3-25 and removing the dangerous Daniel Sams (28), Adam Zampa dropped a sitter which would have removed Green. The latter earned Player of the Match honours for his match-winning contribution.

In the victors’ bowling innings, Usman Qadir took toll with 3-24, including the key wicket of Tom Rogers for 35. Green’s 2-19 also came in handy as the Thunder leader made use of seven different bowlers, three of which went at under five runs per over. Aside from Rogers, Hilton Cartwright‘s steady 36 was the only other substantial contribution.

The result sees Sydney jump into fourth spot to host Friday night’s eliminator against the Brisbane Heat, also ending the Hobart Hurricanes’ slim hopes of finals in one fell swoop. Meanwhile, the Stars will look to recoup after a less than impressive campaign which saw them finish dead last, winning three of their 14 games.


RESULT: Melbourne Stars (7-119) def. by Sydney Thunder (7-120) by 3 wickets
POTM: Chris Green (Sydney Thunder)
TOSS: Sydney Thunder won the toss and elected to bowl.


Melbourne Stars:
Hilton Cartwright 36 (36), Tom Rogers 35 (36)
Adam Zampa 3-25, Beau Webster 1-8 (3)

Sydney Thunder:
Daniel Sams 28 (18), Matthew Gilkes 20 (27)
Usman Qadir 3-24, Chris Green 2-19

The Hurricanes celebrate their dramatic win | Image Credit: via cricketcomau


HOBART Hurricanes briefly kept their BBL|12 season alive on Wednesday with a dramatic two-run win over the Brisbane Heat in Launceston. Sent in to bat on a fast and bouncy UTAS Stadium pitch, the home side mustered just 9-120, but defended it emphatically with heroics from bowlers and fielders alike.

In the first of two low-scoring affairs for the day, the Hurricanes had to win to stand any chance of sneaking into finals ahead of the Sydney Thunder, but were let down by the Melbourne Stars later on. Needing a run a ball for most of the last three overs, Joel Paris and Tim David paired up at the death to produce eight dot balls and help their side hold on.

Paris’ over, the 19th, was particularly handy as he had Michael Neser (3) chop-on and allowed David to subsequently defend 10 runs. The latter bowled two dots and enacted a run-out before throwing up a horrific full toss, which was duly bashed for six by James Bazley. He then found his radar for the final two balls to see out an unlikely result.

Though they fell to 4-30 after five overs, the Heat were humming along nicely as Jimmy Peirson (39) and Sam Hain (26) combined for a 73-run partnership. Things fell apart quickly though, with Hain maimed by a Riley Meredith bouncer and eventually dismissed by Faheem Ashraf (2-19), before Peirson fell to player of the match Nathan Ellis (2-26).

It took a ripper diving catch from Zak Crawley at mid-wicket to remove Peirson, and the Englishman had his tail up in the field having also sent Matt Renshaw on his way with a brilliant run-out. He couldn’t conjure the same form with the bat, though the Hurricanes’ innings was pivoted beautifully by Mac Wright‘s run-a-ball 56.

With ball in hand for the Heat, Michael Neser recovered nicely to snare 4-35, while left-arm paceman Spencer Johnson continued his impressive run of form to claim 2-20. Three of Brisbane’s five bowlers went at five runs an over or less. The Heat will now take on Sydney Thunder on the road in Friday night’s eliminator, while the Hurricanes bow out in sixth spot.


RESULT: Hobart Hurricanes (9-120) def. Brisbane Heat (8-118) by 2 runs
POTM: Nathan Ellis (Hobart Hurricanes)
TOSS: Brisbane Heat won the toss and elected to bowl.


Hobart Hurricanes:
Mac Wright 56 (56), Caleb Jewell 17 (14)
Faheem Ashraf 2-19, Nathan Ellis 2-26, Riley Meredith 1-12

Brisbane Heat:
Jimmy Peirson 39 (37), Sam Hain 26 (34)
Michael Neser 4-35, Spencer Johnson 2-20, Mitch Swepson 1-17

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