Needing a win to secure a fourth consecutive BBL finals place, the Thunder edged home in a low-scoring MCG encounter. Sydney Thunder stumbled to a three-wicket win against the lowly Melbourne Stars, securing their position in the BBL playoffs.
Thunder secured their place in BBL12 for the Finals
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With just 120 points needed to win at the MCG, the Thunder fell to 5-60 and was on the verge of missing a wonderful chance to finish in the top five. The Chris Green-led team was on the verge of defeat after falling down 7-88, but Stars skipper Adam Zampa dropped a sitter to give Daniel Sams a chance for the KFC BBL|12 finals. Sams hit a crucial quick-fire 28 before Zampa (3-26) dismissed him in the following over to keep the Stars in the game.
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But Zampa’s lost catch had done its damage, with skipper Chris Green and Nathan McAndrew leading the Thunder home with seven balls left, sealing fourth place and a home final. The result pushed Hobart out of fifth place after the Hurricanes defeated Brisbane earlier in the day at Blundstone Arena. Zampa catches three but is unable to get Stars across the line. The Thunder will face the Heat in a knockout final on Friday night at the Sydney Showgrounds.
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Pakistan spinner Usman Qadir dominated with figures of 3-24 during the Stars’ 7-119 innings. Qadir scored critical scalps of Tom Rogers (35), Marcus Stoinis of Australia, and big-hitting Beau Webster to put the Thunder in charge. Former Australia star Hilton Cartwright led the Stars with 36 points but was defeated by Green (2-19). Nathan Coulter-Nile, the veteran bowling allrounder, maintained his poor batting record, falling for his fourth duck in a succession. The Stars finished their season at the bottom of the table, having won only three of 14 games.
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