Sport Cricket Big Bash: Stars keep perfect record intact

Big Bash: Stars keep perfect record intact

Big Bash Day Out: Brad Hodge and daughter Sophie.
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Perth Scorchers have failed to secure a home semi-final after crashing to a 20-run loss against a depleted Melbourne Stars line-up in their Big Bash clash at the MCG.

The result of Monday’s last game of the regular season means the second-placed Sydney Sixers (6-2 win-loss) will host the third-placed Scorchers (5-3) at the SCG in the second semi-final on February 5.

The unbeaten Stars (8-0) will host the fourth-placed Hobart Hurricanes on February 4 in the first semi-final at the MCG.

Acting captain Brad Hodge played a classy knock of 61 to lead the way in the home side’s total of 6-161.

Paceman John Hastings took 3-20 for the Stars as the Scorchers reached 9-141 in reply.

The Scorchers were battling at 3-38 in the eighth over after losing the wickets of Craig Simmons (two), Mitch Marsh (15) and Sam Whiteman (17).

Adam Voges (29) and Simon Katich added 54 for the fourth wicket before Hastings made a double breakthrough in the 15th over, removing Voges and Ashton Turner (1).

Patrick Cummins (seven) became debutant swing bowler Daniel Worrall’s second victim in the following over at 6-103 and Katich quickly followed for 30.

Alfonso Thomas (three) was run out by almost the length of the pitch at 8-121 and Jason Behrendorff fell in the final over for 26.

The Stars, who won the toss, were missing several key players on Australian duties including Cameron White, Glenn Maxwell, James Muirhead, Matthew Wade and Clint McKay.

Scorchers spinner Michael Beer (2-27) opened the bowling and struck two early blows, dismissing Luke Wright stumped for 13 and the Stars’ Pakistan import Mohammad Hafeez caught at slip for four.

David Hussey (six) and Alex Keath (four) were both run out but 39-year-old Hodge thumped nine boundaries off 43 balls, combining with Marcus Stoinis (25) for a 60-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Peter Handscomb (25 not out) and John Hastings (13 not out) added 38 in 24 balls including taking 15 runs off the 18th over bowled by spinner Brad Hogg (0-36 off three).