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Maxwell heroics lift Stars into BBL finals

Melbourne Stars have secured a BBL semi-finals berth, smashing the Sydney Sixers by 94 runs in the regular-season finale at the MCG.

Maxwell heroics lift Stars into BBL finals

Melbourne Stars have secured a BBL semi-finals berth, smashing the Sydney Sixers by 94 runs in the regular-season finale at the MCG.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon Picture:twitter

Glenn Maxwell has delivered a stunning batting performance to propel the Melbourne Stars into the BBL finals and deny the Sydney Sixers a home semi-final.

Maxwell's stunning knock of 82 off 43 balls in Sunday afternoon's do-or-die regular-season finale at the MCG paved the way for a dominant 94-run win.


Set a target of 169, the hapless Sixers were skittled for just 74 as Nepalese legspinner Sandeep Lamicchane snared 3-11.

The win lifts the Stars above the Brisbane Heat to a fourth-placed finish and a semi-final against minor premiers the Hobart Hurricanes.

It also takes the Melbourne Renegades above the Sixers to second on the ladder, meaning they will host the second semi against them.

The Sixers had needed to score at least 107 to keep their net run rate above that of the Renegades but weren't up to the task.

Maxwell was contained early but, remarkably, scored his final 65 runs off just 23 balls, including three sixes in the final over from Ben Dwarshuis.

His spectacular knock came to an end off the final ball of the innings when he was caught at mid off, again attempting to clear the boundary.

Incredibly, the Stars were 4-101 at the 16-over mark before Maxwell took on returning Test spinner Nathan Lyon and turned the match on its head.

"It was probably now or never," Maxwell said.

"I took a massive risk. It was into the wind ... I don't normally charge spinners but I just went at him and hoped I could get off the length.

"Luckily enough, I got it out of the middle and, from there, I was able to get some momentum."

Sent in to bat by Sixers captain Moises Henriques, the hosts would have been in serious trouble early if not for a pair of inexplicable fielding blunders by Tom Curran in the first over.

The England international had two opportunities to catch Marcus Stoinis at mid on but, both times, misread the flight of the ball and failed to launch.

Stoinis (34) and Peter Handscomb (35) both dug in but were unable to score freely against the quality of Lyon and veteran Steve O'Keefe.

Dwayne Bravo fared even worse, dismissed for a diamond duck after a bizarre run out.

The former West Indies' captain lost his footing while running from the non-striker's end and was given out after diving across the crease without his bat.

Just three Sixers batsmen managed to reach double figures with Daniel Hughes' 12 the top score.

BBL FINALS SCHEDULE:

* THURSDAY FEBRUARY 14:

First semi-final, Hurricanes v Stars at Bellerive, 1900

* FRIDAY FEBRUARY 15:

Second semi-final, Renegades v Sixers at Marvel Stadium, 1930

* SUNDAY FEBRUARY 17:

Final, Hurricanes or Stars v Renegades or Sixers at venue TBC, 1445.

AAP


AAP




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