BBL 2016-17, Match 32 Review: Sean Abbott heroics with the bat wins it for Sydney Sixers
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Sydney Sixers finished off their group stage campaign in BBL 6 on a winning note after they defeated the Melbourne Stars by 3 wickets at the MCG today in the last match of the group stage. The Melbourne Stars got off to a blistering start courtesy their openers Luke Wright and Rob Quiney but couldn’t quite capitalise on their start and could only manage 156/8 in their 20 overs. Despite being reduced to 97/6, the Sydney Sixers chased down the target with an over to spare courtesy brilliant knocks from Johan Botha and Sean Abbott lower down the target. Courtesy his brilliant innings Sean Abbott was adjudged the Player of the match.
Sydney Sixers captain Moises Henriques won the toss and opted to bowl. The Melbourne Stars got off to a rollicking start with their openers Rob Quiney and Luke Wright going great guns. Rob Quiney struck a crisp boundary in the very first ball of the innings which set things rolling for the Stars. Quiney struck Johan Botha for a hat-trick of boundaries in the 4th over to take their score to 38/0 at the end of 4 overs.
Abbott was struck for a gigantic six by Rob Quiney in the 5th over followed by a boundary by Luke Wright. After sharing 59 runs stand for the opening wicket, Quiney was dismissed by the rival captain Moises Henriques in the final delivery of the 6th over. Kevin Pietersen joined his one-time English teammate Luke Wright in the middle. Luke Wright kept going and smashed another six of Sean Abbott in the final delivery of the 11th over.
After sharing a crucial 69 runs stand for the 2nd wicket, Luke Wright was dismissed by Nathan Lyon in the 3rd delivery of the 16th over. Lyon added one more to his kitty in the matter of one delivery as he dismissed new batsman Evan Gulbis in the 5th delivery of the same over. The procession continued as the hosts lost their last 7 wickets for only 25 runs. The Stars eventually finished their allotted 20 overs with the score at 156/8.
The Sydney Sixers got off to a steady start with Daniel Hughes hitting three boundaries but his opening partner Michael Lumb was dismissed in the first delivery of the 5th over which brought about another quick wicket. Sixers’ foreign recruit Colin Munro too fell in quick succession as the visitors were reduced to 33/2 in the 6th over.
Daniel Hughes struck some delightful boundaries and kept the scoreboard ticking but with the fall of Moises Henriques’ wicket in the final delivery of the 10th overs the visitors were under pressure with the score at 65/3. Tragedy struck for the Sixers as Daniel Hughes was dismissed by Gulbis with a beautiful Yorker in the final delivery of the 11th over. Nic Maddinson struck Michael Beer for a gigantic six in the 14th over followed by a boundary by Brad Haddin but the wicket keeper batsman went for another big hit which brought about his downfall.
Sean Abbott started taking on the opposition bowlers and brought down the required rate by striking some lusty blows. He smashed Liam Bowe for a six and a four in the 16th over followed by another boundary in the next over of Michael Beer. Ben Hilfenhaus was smashed for a six and a four in the 18th over which almost sealed the deal for the visitors. Botha was dismissed in the last delivery of the 19th over but by then he and Abbott had taken Sixers within striking distance of the target.
Ben Dwarshuis finished off the match by hitting an uppish square cut of the bowling of Scott Boland. Courtesy their win Sydney Sixers went through to the Semi-finals with 10 points along with the Melbourne Stars who finished at the 4th spot with 8 points.
Melbourne Stars 156/8 in 20 overs (Luke Wright 62, Ben Dwarshuis 3/25)
Sydney Sixers 160/7 in 19 overs (Sean Abbott 33, Daniel Hughes 35, Scott Boland 3/37)
Sydney Sixers won by 3 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
1st semi-final: Tuesday, January 24: Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars, W.A.C.A. Ground, Perth, (4:40 PM local time) (2:10 PM IST)
2nd semi-final: Wednesday, January 25: Brisbane Heat v Sydney Sixers, Gabba, 6:40PM local time (2:10 PM IST)
BBL Final: Saturday, January 28: TBC vs TBC (5:30 AM IST)
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