Hobart Hurricanes v Melbourne Stars BBL Semi-Final Tips, Predictions and Preview - Who will make the #BBL08 final?

D'Arcy Short

After 56 entertaining group stage matches, the Big Bash League knockouts stages get underway with the first semi-final when Hobart Hurricanes play Melbourne Stars at the Bellerive Oval on Thursday.

The Hurricanes (W10, L4) topped the group standings, but have lost three of their last five (W2, L3). The Stars needed to wait until the last match to qualify (W6, L6), but have four wins out of their last six.

Hobart Hurricanes


The Hurricanes dominated almost every match, thanks largely to the batting heroics of D’Arcy Short (602 runs, SR 139.35) and Matthew Wade (590 runs, SR 147.86). The irresistible duo has already put on eight 50+ partnerships at the top of the order, to go with two 100+ stands.

The possible return of James Faulkner (18 wickets) boosts their attack, which struggled in the last two games in his absence. Even Jofra Archer (17 wickets) has picked up in the lead to the semis, which is good news for the home faithful.

Melbourne Stars


It required a huge effort from their bowlers in the last league match for Stars to reach this far. Marcus Stoinis (476 runs, 14 wickets) has been their superman with magical consistency with both bat and the ball. Glenn Maxwell (287 runs, SR 147.93) has begun enjoying his captaincy responsibilities – which is not good news for the hosts.

The return of Sandeep Lamichhane (11 wickets, ER 6.83) is great news for the Stars, who also have Adam Zampa (11 wickets, ER 6.97) leading the charge with their spin.

Match Up


The Hurricanes have won both the matches against the Stars in the regular season, by 59 runs and six wickets. Short enjoyed excellent form, picking up man-of-the-match awards both the times.

Although momentum won’t be the much-discussed word in both the camps, the Hurricanes’ top-order against the Stars’ disciplined bowling will be the decider.

Key Battles


Qais Ahmed played just two games this season, but the young Afghan leg-spinner has already created a buzz. His presence could be a menace for the Stars’ middle-order.

A silent performer in the ranks of the Stars is Jackson Bird (five wickets, ER 6.50). The experienced pacer has been excellent with his control and will relish the prospect of bowling to Short and Wade.

History & Statistics


  • Hurricanes have won the last two matches against the Stars.
  • However, it is the Stars who hold the advantage with a 6-4 record.
  • Hurricanes net run rate (+0.603) is the best among the four qualifiers, while the Stars have the least (-0.062).
  • In five of the seven matches against the Stars they batted first, the Hurricanes have lost.
  • Stars have won four of the five matches against the Hurricanes.

Prediction


This is a nightmare selection for the analysts, considering the contrasting forms of either side. The hosts have a slight edge, thanks to their dynamic duo of Short & Wade at the top. How well the Stars’ bowlers fare against them could well be the deciding factor.

Tips


Back the Hurricanes to post the highest opening partnership @ $1.75 (Sportsbet).

Back the total sixes to be at least 11 @ $1.83 (bet365).

Back Wade to score at least one six @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes).

Back Short to be the man of the match @ $6.50 (Sportsbet).


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Hobart Hurricanes v Melbourne Stars BBL Semi-Final Tips, Predictions and Preview - Who will make the #BBL08 final?

The Big Bash League knockouts stages get underway with the first semi-final when Hobart Hurricanes play Melbourne Stars at the Bellerive Oval on Thursday.

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