Cricket 2 years ago

Stars set for make or break BBL clash

  • Stars set for make or break BBL clash

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 17: Luke Wright of the Stars bats during the Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Stars and the Brisbane Heat at Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 17, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Stars had a golden opportunity to secure a home BBL semi-final and they blew it.

But opener Luke Wright insists it's not all doom and gloom for the Stars after Tuesday night's seven-wicket loss to the Brisbane Heat.

With the Heat missing suspended captain Brendon McCullum and injured big-hitter Chris Lynn, it proved to be the Stars who lacked firepower.

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Their 7-138, which included ducks to Kevin Pietersen, Rob Quiney and Marcus Stoinis, was the Stars' worst first-innings for the season and allowed the Heat to cruise to victory with 11 balls to spare.

The second-placed Stars could still secure a home semi-final if they beat the Sydney Sixers at the MCG on Saturday.

But a loss to the Sixers could spell the end of their finals hopes, depending on other results.

The Stars have also lost a number of key players to Australian ODI duties.

Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Adam Zampa were named in the initial ODI squad earlier this month, while Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis have since been called as reinforcements.

"You want your best players to be playing for Australia but unfortunately you don't want them to miss games for us," Wright said.

"As far as I know, if we win Saturday it's still a home semi-final so it's certainly not doom and gloom."

Wright, whose unbeaten 60 against the Heat came in his 50th BBL match for the Stars, said it was hard to get a read on the inconsistent Sixers, who recently regained Test bowlers Jackson Bird and Nathan Lyon.

"They've been one or the other, really," he said.

"It depends which team turned up, whether they're awesome or they've had games where they're really struggled.

"They've had a lot of good players come back to them so it's going to be a tough game."

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