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Big Bash semi-finals : Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars

Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars @ WACA – Tuesday, 7:40pm AEDT

The Scorchers finished the regular season of BBL 06 in top spot after their 7-wicket win over the Hurricanes in Hobart and as a result will host the Melbourne Stars in the 1st semi final at the WACA. The Scorchers will need to overcome a poor 4-6 record against the Stars, but are 3-1 when these teams have clashed at the semi final stage of the competition. The Stars are coming off a 3-wicket loss to the Sixers in their most recent match, but did get the job done when they took on the Scorchers in Perth only 10 days ago. The Stars won that clash by 7 wickets, dismissing each of the Scorchers top 5 (Marsh 8, Klinger 3, Bell 0, Bancroft 0, Cartwright 7) for under 8 runs. The Scorchers have been boosted by the return of Adam Voges and Sam Whiteman, while Shaun Marsh (57 off 34) finally found some form with the bat in the win over the Hurricanes and has been recalled to the Australian ODI squad for the tour to New Zealand. The Stars are perennial under-achievers and have bowed out at the semi-final stage in four of the five BBL tournaments since it’s inception. They overcame this hurdle last year when they defeated the Scorchers in the semi-final before going down to the Thunder in the final. The key for the Stars has been their top order, with Kevin Pietersen (263), Luke Wright (262) and Rob Quiney (227) all producing runs on a consistent basis, while Scott Bolland (14 wickets) and Ben Hilfenhaus (12 wickets) have done the job with the ball. The Stars will welcome back Marcus Stoinis for this clash after he was released from the Australian ODI squad, but will still be without James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa. The Wolf tipped the Scorchers before the season started and won’t be jumping off now. Home advantage in front of a sold-out crowd, the return to form of Shaun Marsh and a less disrupted side will secure the Scorchers spot in the final.
Bet: Perth Scorchers ($1.67)

Top Scorchers Batsman
Michael Klinger has always been Mr Reliable in this format of the game. He is currently the second all-time leading BBL run scorer with 1530 runs, only 31 runs behind Aaron Finch. He is the Scorchers’ leading run scorer during BBL 06 with 256 runs and a top score of 81. He made 44 in last year’s semi-final loss to the Stars and will be a key wicket for the Stars.
Bet: Michael Klinger ($3.75)
Top Stars BatsmanKevin Pietersen is the leading Stars batsmen during BBL 06 with 263 runs at an average of 43.83, which ranks him as 6th overall. He made 44* in the win over the Scorchers earlier in the competition and was the Stars top scorer with 62 in last year’s semi final win.
Bet: Kevin Pietersen ($3.50)
Top Scorchers BowlerMitchell Johnson was back to his explosive best in the win over the Hurricanes, picking up 2/15 off his 4 overs. He is equal with Andrew Tye as the Scorchers leading wicket-taker for the competition, with 9 wickets at an average of 20.55. He’ll lift for the big occasion!
Bet: Mitchell Johnson ($3.50)

Top Stars BowlerScott Boland has been excellent during BBL 06, picking up 14 wickets at an average of 18.92, which ranks him as the second leading wicket-taker for the tournament. He took 2/30 in the win over the Scorchers 10 days ago and 3/37 in the recent loss to the Sixers.

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