The Melbourne Stars were on course in the Australia cricket betting odds for an emphatic victory over Perth Scorchers on Wednesday evening before heavy rain ruined their hopes of making the Big Bash League final this January.
On a hot and humid night at the WACA, Melbourne had two chances to take victory and secure their first BBL final after just two years of the T20 competition. Fans who bet on cricket were served a real treat in Melbourne’s innings as first Cameron White and then Brad Hodge put on superb batting performances to career the Stars into what looked to be a commanding lead.
White was impervious with the bat, knocking 88 off 53 deliveries that included five huge sixes, while Hodge continued the innings with 70 of his own off 43. Yet rain with just two overs remaining stopped Melbourne’s charge, meaning that despite knocking 2-183 – which should have passed the 200 mark – Perth needed a slightly more respectable 138 to win in 13 overs.
Granted, Perth were just as powerful with the bat and Shaun Marsh clawed his team back into the game with a mesmerising 68 off 40, but in the final over Melbourne were in control and come the last ball Perth needed three to win.
Here’s where that second dose of bad luck kicked in, when all-rounder James Faulkner, on the final delivery, overstepped his mark to give Perth a run and free hit. The WACA were at first silenced and then overjoyed, as Mike Hussey smashed a winning four to nudge Perth into the final.
It was a desperately unlucky result for a Melbourne team who finished third in the league table and defied expectations with their stunning opening innings. Had the rain held by and Faulkner kept his nerve then Shane Warne and co, would be in the final on Saturday – as it is, however, Perth have that honour against Brisbane Heat for the BBL title.