Maxwell, Worrall carry Melbourne Stars to BBL final

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Daniel Worrall put up an impressive bowling display (4 for 23) while Glenn Maxwell played a crucial hand of 43 not out which helped Melbourne Stars trump Hobart Hurricanes in the first Semi-final at Bellerive Oval on Thursday (February 14), thus ending the hosts’ unbeaten run at the same ground. Hobart’s batting came a cropper on the big day as they posted a below-par target with only three of their batsmen getting into double figures.
On what seemed like a slowish track, Maxwell got his wish fulfilled inserting the home team into bat after winning the bat-flip, and Hobart were jolted as early as in the second over. Daniel Worrall extracted prodigious movement with the new cherry and struck on his first delivery snuffing out Hurricanes’ skipper and the in-form Matthew Wade for just 2. Four balls later, Caleb Jewell was rattled by a ripping outswinger. But Short wasn’t intimidated by the fall of two wickets as he took on Maxwell in the next over carting him for a six and four. Just when it looked like he was settling in, Adam Zampa in his first over came back strongly after conceding a six to nip out the tournament’s leading run-scorer – D’Arcy short – who holed out to long-on for 35. With three wickets down inside the Powerplay, the home team were in disarray.
George Bailey and Ben McDermott strung together a 75-run partnership for the fourth wicket to lead a recovery for the hosts. Both batsmen knocked ones and twos, looked for the odd boundaries and kept the scorecard ticking to bail their team out of trouble to an extent. In the 15th over, in an attempt to steal an extra run off the overthrow, Bailey got a reprieve when his counterpart Maxwell failed to hit the stumps from cover.
But he couldn’t make most of the opportunity as Worrall in his new spell removed Bailey, who eventually fell for a 32-ball 35. McDermott started upping the ante and reached his fifty in 41 balls, but failed to kick-on as he dragged a slower ball from Bravo straight to long-on.
From thereon, things went downhill with Hobart losing wickets in a heap. Milenko, Faulkner, Archer and Rose couldn’t accelerate in the end and all they could manage was 41 runs in the last five overs. Bravo, Worrall and Lamichhane made sure they kept things in check and the Hurricanes finished with 153/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
In reply, Ben Dunk didn’t waste any time in getting off the mark, driving a half-volley from Faulkner to extra cover straightaway sending a strong signal to the opposition. Melbourne raced to a great start with 11 coming off the first over. However, Jofra Archer’s skiddy pace saw Dunk edging one behind gifting the pacer a wicket off his first delivery. Handscomb and Stoinis scored 16 off the next two overs to keep the chase in track. The former looked a bit rusty and struggled to time the ball initially. Although, Archer released all the pressure in the next over by leaking three boundaries. Qais Ahmad was introduced in the eighth over and he soon got rid off Stoinis but Nic Maddinson didn’t let the advantage slip, smashing two sixes in Qais’ next over before the leggie took revenge by having him caught at short fine leg via a top-edge.