After yet another long-drawn Big Bash season, we are all set for the BBL 2018-19 playoffs. The league leaders Hobart Hurricanes will take on Melbourne Stars at Blundstone Arena in Hobart in the first semi-final on Thursday, while in the second semis Melbourne Renegades square-off against Sydney Sixers on Friday. The competition will finish with the final, which will be played on February 17.
Hobart Hurricanes, who emerged as table toppers after securing ten wins in 14 matches, will lock horns with Melbourne Stars in the first semi-final of on Thursday. Despite losing three matches in their previous five encounters, Hurricanes stand as one of the most standout sides. The match will be played in Hobart, where Hurricanes have so far enjoyed a great outing. The team secured eight consecutive wins at home this season.
Hobart Hurricanes squad: Jofra Archer, George Bailey, Johan Botha, Jake Doran, James Faulkner, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, David Moody, Tim Paine, Thomas Rogers, Clive Rose, D Arcy Short, Aaron Summers, Matthew Wade(c), Qais Ahmad
Glenn Maxwell, who has mostly missed the country’s premier T20 league due to international duties, will seek for revenge when Stars take on Hurricanes at their own backyard. Hurricanes had secured a seven-wicket win against Stars in the semi-finals of BBL03. After storming into the semis by securing a comprehensive 94-run victory against Sixers, the team would count on skipper Glenn Maxwell to repeat his heroics. Maxwell, who is also regarded as one of the most dangerous batsmen in the shortest format of the game, smashed 82 off 43 deliveries, helping his team post a respectable 168/6 in their respective 20 overs. The bowlers also pitched in, especially the pair of Adam Zampa and Sandeep Lamichhane, as the tweakers scalped five wickets.
Melbourne Stars squad: Melbourne Stars Squad: Michael Beer, Jackson Bird, Scott Boland, Liam Bowe, Dwayne Bravo, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell(c), Jonathan Merlo, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa, Liam Plunkett
Renegades will miss the services of Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi in the semi-final clash against Sixers on Friday. However, the team is likely to field veteran Cameron White in place of Nabi, who is also the tournament’s fourth-highest run-scorer.
Melbourne Renegades Squad: Aaron Finch(c), Cameron Boyce, Daniel Christian, Tom Cooper, Zak Evans, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain, Beau Webster, Cameron White, Jack Wildermuth, Usman Shinwari, Harry Gurney, Sam Harper
Nathan Lyon could return for the Sydney Sixers in what would be a huge boost for their Big Bash hopes, while England coach Trevor Bayliss briefly entertained the idea of allowing Tom Curran to remain for the finals, only to dump the idea because of the extensive travel time to the Caribbean.
The Sixers secured a finals berth after their nine-wicket win over cross-town rivals the Sydney Thunder on Saturday night – in front of a long-overdue crowd of 34,385 fans – and can lock up a home semi-final with victory against Marcus Stoinis’ Melbourne Stars next Sunday.
Sydney Sixers Squad: Joe Denly, Jack Edwards, Sean Abbott, Justin Avendano, Ben Dwarshuis, Tom Curran, Mickey Edwards, Daniel Fallins, Moises Henriques(c), Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Steve OKeefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, Henry Thornton, Peter Nevill, James Vince