The Road to the Finals – the Hurricanes
The Hurricanes established themselves as the team to beat during BBL|08, winning their first 5 consecutive games before their first loss to the Renegades at Marvel Stadium. The Hurricanes won both their matches against the Stars this season, although in the second match the Stars were playing without the experience of Glenn Maxwell, Adam Zampa, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb and young-gun Sandeep Lamichhane. The men from Hobart also stumbled towards the end of their season. Despite locking in their spot in the finals early, the Hurricanes only won 2 of their final 5 matches, losing to the second-last placed Adelaide Strikers and both Sydney teams.
The Road to the Finals – the Stars
It was a shaky start to BBL|08 for the men in green, losing our first 2 games until emerging victorious against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG. This began a 3-game winning streak that only ended after the departure of Lamichhane, Maxwell, Zampa, Handscomb and Stoinis as they left to fulfil commitments in the BPL and with the Australian National team. After the return of the ODI players, the Stars needed to win just one of their last three matches to secure their place in the semi-finals. The Stars left it to the last minute, losing to the Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers on the road, before returning to the MCG at defeating the Sydney Sixers in emphatic fashion to secure a finals berth.
The Danger Men
D’Arcy Short and Hurricanes captain Matthew Wade have been a batting force to be reckoned with throughout the season. Short and Wade are the competition’s leading run scorers, having scored 602 and 590 runs respectively. Marcus Stoinis is third on the leaderboard with 476 runs.
Sandeep Lamichhane skittled the Hurricanes in his first and only match against them, taking 3 of the 4 Stars wickets including those of Wade, Doolan and McDermott. Given that that match was played over a month ago, it’s been a substantial break since the Hurricanes have had to face Sandeep and his spin. Superstar Glenn Maxwell has also showcased his captaincy skills in recent matches, and Marcus Stoinis has continued his red-hot form.
Neither the Stars nor the Hurricanes have ever won a BBL championship, but both have come agonizingly close. The Hurricanes lost the Grand Final to the Adelaide Strikers last season and will be looking to right that wrong this time around. The Stars have been in every BBL semifinal except for last season and are hoping to bounce back in incredible fashion.
Both teams have a lot to play for this Thursday night, the game is sure to be incredible!