WBBL: Hobart Hurricanes edge Melbourne Stars to make finals

Melbourne Stars captain Meg Lanning says her team has only itself to blame after a four-wicket loss to the Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday terminated hopes of making the Women’s Big Bash League finals.
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Lanning was superb with the bat, crunching 81 off 55 balls, with nine boundaries and a six, before her questionable dismissal as the Stars reached 8-135 off 20 overs. But it wasn’t enough with the Hurricanes securing victory with a ball to spare at Blundstone Arena.

The Stars had defeated the Hurricanes in a rain-marred clash on Friday to remain in contention for a semi-final berth but seven wins would not be enough and they finished fifth, ending a poor campaign by the Melbourne-based clubs, for the Renegades finished in sixth spot.

“It’s been an up-and-down season, pretty frustrating to be honest. Fourteen games is a lot and it’s very hard to hold your form the whole way through,” Lanning said.

“We have had some games that we should have done better that we didn’t. (We have) only ourselves to blame, I guess, for not getting through.”

Lanning, the competition’s leading run-scorer, was named player of the match but it meant little for the dynamic run machine, for the Stars had been one of the fancied sides to claim the championship.

“We came here to win today and we didn’t play our best. We probably had too many dot balls in our batting innings,” she said.

“I thought the Hurricanes bowled really well through the middle and they held their nerve at the end. They deserve their victory and to go through.”

The Perth Scorchers, Sydney Sixers, Brisbane Heat and Hurricanes will compete in the semi-finals.

Outside of Lanning, only Jess Cameron (16 off 19 balls) reached double figures. Lanning was involved in a run-out with her sister Anna but the mix-up appeared to spark her, and she would respond with a series of boundaries.

She was dismissed in the 19th over when she was caught at square leg off a waist-high full toss which should have been called a no-ball.

“I have tailored off a fair bit towards the end of this tournament which was disappointing. It was nice to get some runs today. I have tried to be as consistent as I can. There are always areas to improve for next year,” Lanning said.

In reply, the Stars had appeared in control, and the Hurricanes needed 12 of the final over bowled by left-arm seamer Gemma Triscari. Three runs came from the first two deliveries but a boundary on the third ball and another off the fifth left Triscari devastated and hunched over on the pitch.

Leg-spinner Kristen Beams had been the best of the Stars’ bowlers, claiming 3-11 off four overs, but the Hurricanes were able to enjoy consistent performances from captain Heather Knight (35 off 26 balls),  Amy Satterthwaite (27 off 23) and Hayley Matthews (24 off 26).

“The girls have played some really good cricket this year…we won those key moments (today) which was really good,” Knight said.

The Renegades finished their campaign with a 35-run loss to the Sixers on Saturday.

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