Fri, 24 May 2019

The curse of finishing top in the Big Bash

ESPNCricInfo
15 Feb 2019, 00:42 GMT+10

9:08 AM ET

In six out of the eight editions of the BBL, the team finishing top of the table has fallen at the semi-final. Here's a brief history of the curse of dominating the group stage

BBL02: Brisbane Heat 3 for 183 beat Melbourne Renegades 9 for 168 by 15 runs

Before the Bash Brothers were really a thing, a spectacular unbeaten 112 off 70 balls from Luke Pomersbach put the match out of the Renegades' reach. Their chase started briskly through Aaron Finch and Alex Hales, but wickets fell regularly. Ben Rohrer top-scored with 42 but when he went to Chris Lynn in the 16th over, his team's hopes went with him.

BBL03: Hobart Hurricanes 3 for 142 beat Melbourne Stars 8 for 141 by seven wickets

Long before he was Test captain, Tim Paine hit 65 off 52 balls to steer a comfortable chase for the Hurricanes with George Bailey adding the finishing touches. Cameron Boyce, now a Renegade, was the star with the ball as he claimed 3 for 11 - the scalps of Luke Wright, Glenn Maxwell and David Hussey.

BBL04: Sydney Sixers 4 for 181 beat Adelaide Strikers 94 by 87 runs

The Strikers were blown away by a Sixers attack of Brett Lee, Sean Abbott, Nathan Lyon, Doug Bollinger and Steve O'Keefe - Ben Laughlin top-scoring with 22 for No. 10 - after Nic Maddinson's powerful 85 off 48 balls provided the bulk of the Sixers' total

BBL05: Sydney Thunder 2 for 160 beat Adelaide Strikers 7 for 159 by eight wickets

For a second season in a row the curse struck the Strikers with Usman Khawaja's 59-ball 104 securing an overwhelming victory. Shane Watson contributed just 7 to an opening stand of 57 in 4.5 overs.

BBL07: Hobart Hurricanes 4 for 210 beat Perth Scorchers 139 by 71 runs

Matthew Wade top-scored in the Hurricanes' imposing total with 71 off 45 balls and Ben McDermott plundered 67 off 30. McDermott and Dan Christian added 88 from just 39 deliveries against a strong Scorchers attack. Tom Rogers then claimed the top three in the Scorchers' innings and Christian chipped in with 4 for 17 in a one-side encounter.

BBL08: Melbourne Stars 4 for 157 beat Hobart Hurricanes 7 for 153 by six wickets

The boot was on the other foot for the Hurricanes a year later after they had dominated the first running of the expanded competition. A team effort from the Stars, finished off by Glenn Maxwell and Seb Gotch after Dan Worrall's four wickets, made it six times the table-toppers had fallen in the semi-final.

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