Melbourne Stars made it to their first Big Bash final since the fifth season with a six-wicket victory over table-toppers Hobart Hurricanes in the first semi-final of the season.
Fielding first, Daniel Worrall wasted no time searching for a wicket, sending Matthew Wade packing after scoring just two runs. Five balls later, he struck again, this time clean bowling Caleb Jewell for one, leaving the Hurricanes on two for just five runs after two overs. D’Arcy Short steadied the ship with 35-run knock before being caught by Seb Gotch in the deep off Adam Zampa. Veteran George Bailey and Ben McDermott built on steadily in the middle overs until Worral removed Bailey for 37, caught by Maxwell. A flurry of wickets followed restricting the Hurricanes to 153 for seven. McDermott top scored with 53 off 42 balls, with just two boundaries. Worrall went on to achieve the Stars best figures of 4-23 from his spell, while Zampa and Dwayne Bravo contributed a wicket each.
Stars were off to a shaky start after Ben Dunk was caught behind off Jofra Archer’s first delivery of the innings. Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis then added a 41-run second wicket partnership before the latter was bowled by Qais Ahmad for 18. A quickfire 18 off nine balls from Nic Maddinson, including two sixes followed before he was caught by Clive Rose off Ahmad, looking for another maximum. Handscomb managed 35 off 26 before becoming the third victim of Ahmad’s spin, bringing Seb Gotch to the crease with the Stars needing 69 off the last nine overs. Skipper Glenn Maxwell and Gotch hunkered down and got the job done, with Gotch sealing the victory with a six to see the Stars to a six-wicket win.