The Hobart Hurricanes stunned the Melbourne Stars on home soil to reach the final of the Big Bash League with a seven-wicket win.
It was a huge upset—the Stars were overwhelming favourites having come into the match on the back of eight wins from eight in the group stages, while Hobart had managed just three victories.
But despite losing the toss, the Hurricanes began superbly to restrict Melbourne with the ball to a modest total of 141 for eight from their 20 overs, a total which would have been still lower but for a rescue act from Brad Hodge.
And in response they batted aggressively, with Tim Paine and George Bailey helping them safely to the total.
They await the winners of Sydney Sixers vs. Perth Scorchers in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
|Melbourne Stars vs. Hobart Hurricanes: BBL Semi-Final Scorecard|
|CL White*||c Laughlin b Shoaib Malik||6||8|
|LJ Wright||lbw b Boyce||13||18|
|MS Wade†||c Shoaib Malik b Mascarenhas||8||10|
|GJ Maxwell||c Birt b Boyce||12||9|
|BJ Hodge||b Bollinger||51||35|
|DJ Hussey||c Dunk b Boyce||24||22|
|MP Stoinis||not out||8||9|
|JW Hastings||c Bailey b Laughlin||8||6|
|JM Muirhead||c Bailey b Laughlin||6||3|
|SL Malinga||not out||0||0|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 1, w 3)||5|
|Total||(8 wickets; 20 overs)||141||(7.05 runs per over)|
|BR Dunk||c Wright b Hastings||30||20|
|TD Paine†||run out (Malinga)||65||52|
|Shoaib Malik||c Wright b Muirhead||3||8|
|GJ Bailey*||not out||32||26|
|TR Birt||not out||8||3|
|Extras||(lb 1, w 3)||4|
|Total||(3 wickets; 18.1 overs)||142||(7.81 runs per over)|
The Stars have been a dominant batting force all tournament long, but they struggled to get going against the nagging line of Dimitri Mascarenhas and Ben Hilfenhaus, before spin from Cameron Boyce and Shoaib Malik brought the innings to a crawl.
At 45-4 from 8.5 overs, the Stars were in a hole, with the firepower of Cameron White, Matthew Wade, Luke Wright and Glenn Maxwell back in the hutch.
Fortunately for them Hodge (51 from 35 balls) and David Hussey (24 from 22) provide the team with remarkable depth, and they salvaged a total which, with good bowling, they had a chance at defending.
But the Hurricanes approached the chase in the same positive manner that they had bowled in the previous innings.
Paine, partnered by Ben Dunk, put on 51 in the first 35 balls to get on top of the target, and though Malik fell for a torturous three from eight balls, it only brought the Australia T20 skipper Bailey to the middle.
Paine fell for 65, the victim of a sensational piece of fielding from Lasith Malinga to run him out by a hair's breadth.
But by that point the Hurricanes needed just 15 more from 19 deliveries, and Travis Birt was more than capable of doing the rest.
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