The Melbourne Stars have crashed out of the Big Bash League at the final hurdle, failing to take enough points off ladder-leaders Sydney Sixers in the regular season’s final match

The scores: Melbourne Stars 6-177 (Maxwell 66, Cartwright 38*; Dwarshuis 3-27) lost to Sydney Sixers 5-180 (Vince 46, Henriques 38, Silk 35no, Christian 49no) by five wickets with one ball remaining

The points: Sixers 4, Stars 0

Points Table

The Bash Boost: In the first BBL campaign being played under the new rules, the major focus of the final regular-season game was the Bash Boost point that the Sixers claimed in a canter.

It made for an anti-climactic ending that overshadowed an otherwise entertaining game.

The Sixers, who needed just a solitary point to claim top spot, were left to chase 73 to win the Bash Boost point and understandably made that their first priority.

The Stars needed all four points to sneak into the fifth spot and booked a finals spot, meaning their season was over when the Sixers reached with 12 balls to spare.

The new introduction for this edition of the tourney – the Bash Boost point – made the difference there.

Melbourne Stars’ Seb Gotch and Marcus Stoinis managed a boundary each in the first over and made their intentions pretty clear. Stoinis (12) looked in solid touch but before he could do any major damage, the big allrounder whipped one straight to short fine leg

Seb Gotch made 15 before he top-edged a pull shot to Sean Abbott that carried to Steve O’Keefe at third man. Nick Larkin was then trapped in front by Dwarshuis for 12.

The Stars needed all four points to get through to the playoffs and Maxwell started heaving his bat at almost everything. The right-handed dasher hammered Dwarshuis for a four and a six and set the Sixers a target of 73 in the first 10 overs to claim the Bash Boost point.

Maxwell found good support from Nic Maddinson who took some time to settle in before taking the attack to Jake Ball (X-Factor). The left-hander smashed Ball for a four and a six, but before he could do any further damage, Carlos Brathwaite had him caught behind for a 15-ball 22.

The Power Surge (overs 14-15) was going to be crucial for the Stars and Maxwell made the most of it. The 32-year-old smacked five fours in those two overs and in the process brought up his fifty off 29 deliveries. The Power Surge went exactly how Melbourne would have liked as they accumulated 29 off it.

He eventually chopped on for 66 off 41 which gave Abbott his second wicket.

Cartwright (38 off 19) took the reins late in the innings and blasted three sixes from the final four deliveries bowled by Jake Ball (0-38) as the Stars posted 6-177.

Ben Dwarshuis (3-27) and fellow quick Sean Abbott (2-28) both bowled well, Carlos Brathwaite 1-46 while left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe (0-21) was impressive in four overs on his return to the side

Ben Dwarshius | Man of the Match (4-1-27-3): It was a bit of an interesting one, nice for us to get teh one point and finish the job. The Stars had to get full points and they would come out hard, so getting Stoinis early was crucial. I could improve in a few stages, but I’m happy with the 19 wickets I’ve got through the tournament. We have a nice family in the dressing room, get along rather well with each other. We’ll have a couple of days to celebrate, and then get ready for the Scorchers.

The Stars needed early wickets and they got that from Sam Rainbird and Billy Stanlake. The former got the all-important wicket of Josh Philippe (1) with a superb off-cutter before Stanlake sent Daniel Hughes (3) back in the hut in the second over.

The Sixers got the required 73 runs in 8 overs to claim the Bash Boost point and knocked the Stars out of the tournament. The bonus point also ensured that the Sixers would finish at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Adelaide Strikers are through to the playoffs as well. Vince (32-ball 46) fell to Maddinson in the 10th over but by then “the job” was already done.

Henriques (29-ball 38) was run out, while Brathwaite (2) fell to Nathan Coulter-Nile. The Sixers only managed 15 runs in the Power Surge (overs 13-14). Daniel Christian remained unbeaten on 49 off 23, while Silk scored 35* off 25 as the Sixers won the game with delivery to spare.

TOSS REPORT

Sydney Sixers have won the toss and have opted to field against Melbourne Stars in the final league match of BBL 2020/21 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday (January 26).

Melbourne Renegades have defeated Hobart Hurricanes. The Stars need to win this encounter with a Bash Boost point to qualify for the finals. If they lose, Adelaide Strikers go through.

Playing XIs

Melbourne Stars: Marcus Stoinis, Seb Gotch (wk), Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (c), Nic Maddinson, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Rainbird, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake, Zahir Khan.

X-Factors: Liam Hatcher, James Seymour

Sydney Sixers: Josh Philippe (wk), James Vince, Daniel Hughes, Moises Henriques (c), Jordan Silk, Dan Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Stephen O’Keefe, Jackson Bird.

X-Factors: Jake Ball, Hayden Kerr

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