Two fantastic semi-finals in this year’s BBL saw two successful run chases. The first game saw Adelaide failed to post a high enough total to stop the Thunder, while KP led the Stars to victory in the second semi final.
Semi Final 1 – Thursday 21 December
Adelaide Strikers – 159/7 (20) – Ross 47, Neser 27 – McKay 3-44, Watson 2-28
Sydney Thunder – 160/2 (17.4) – Khawaja 104*, Nicholls 35*
Sydney Thunder won by eight wickets.
The Strikers’ innings started badly, with both Jayawardene and Ludeman being dismissed inside the first three overs. Tim Head hit a quick-fire 23, but it was Alex Ross that held the middle part of the innings together, with a well made 47. However, three wickets from Clint McKay and two from Shane Watson helped limit their score to just 159.
From the start, the Thunder had it in the bag. Despite Shane Watson and Michael Hussey, two of Australia’s best players, falling cheaply, Usman Khawaja would be the star man. His knock of 104 not out from just 59 deliveries, assisted by a 27-ball 35* from Henry Nicholls, was more than enough to give the Thunder their place in the final.
Semi Final 2 – Friday 22 December
Perth Scorchers – 139/7 (20) – Voges 52, Klinger 44 – Worrall 3-25
Melbourne Stars – 140/3 (18.1) – Pietersen 62, Stoinis 44
Melbourne Stars win by seven wickets.
Marcus Harris and Michael Carberry fell cheaply at the tart of the Scorchers’ innings, but Michale Klinger, the captain, and Adam Voges, played beautifully to get them in range of a decent target. However, three wickets from Daniel Worrall, along with Hilfenhaus, Zampa, Beer and Stones all chipping in, the Stars held Perth to just 139.
After taking a wicket, Stoinis then led the Stars’ chase of 140. Despite Luke Wright falling early, the Melbourne side always looked like having enough, with Kevin Pietersen hitting a fantastic 36-ball 62 to put the Stars in touching distance. Peter Handscomb and David Hussey were there at the end as they eased over the line to make it into Sunday’s final.
The final will see the Hussey brothers battle it out. Both David and Michael will lead their sides in the final, with the elder brother, Michael, hoping to bow out of professional cricket with one last victory. Mr Cricket will be looking for that elusive BBL tournament win on Sunday.