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Hurricanes storm into BBL finals

By Chris Pike
23 January 2014 10:46PM EST

THE Hobart Hurricanes have qualified for the Big Bash League finals after a commanding win over the Brisbane Heat in Thursday's do-or-die final round clash at Blundstone Arena.

The winner of the clash in Hobart between the Hurricanes and the defending champion Heat knew that they would end the BBL campaign in fourth position to qualify for the semi finals.

So both knew they had to throw everything at the contest, but it was the Hurricanes who fired batting first and making 7-209 to set the Heat a daunting total with Ben Dunk again starring with the bat scoring 87 from 53 balls.

The Heat then never threatened in the run chase finishing with a lacklustre 8-169 from their 20 overs.

That handed the Hurricanes a 40-run victory to now set up a semi-final clash with the so-far unbeaten Melbourne Stars at the MCG.

The other semi-final will take place between the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers with the venue to be either the WACA Ground or the SCG depending on how the two teams go in their last matches against the Stars and Thunder respectively.

Hurricanes captain Tim Paine won the toss and decided to bat first, and made a much better start than his first ball duck in the previous match.

Paine and Dunk put on a superb opening partnership of 98 runs in just 57 balls to set up the Hurricanes' innings brilliantly.

The partnership was eventually broken in the 10th over when James Hopes had Paine caught in the deep by Chris Lynn for 47 from 28 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.

Jonathan Wells came in and added 12 (12 balls) with Shoaib Malik making 14 (8), Travis Birt 11 (6), Evan Gulbis 22 (15) and Aiden Blizzard 2 (2), but it was Dunk who was again the star of the show for the home team.

Having already scored 96 in Hobart, he looked capable of hitting a century on Thursday night and even though he fell short it was an outstanding, and ultimately match-winning innings.

He got out in the 19th over for a brilliant 87 from just 53 deliveries with his innings including seven fours and three sixes.

Cameron Gannon finished with 3-42 with the ball for the Heat while Ryan Harris took 2-42 and Hopes 1-37.

The Heat got off to a solid enough start chasing 210 for victory with Luke Pomersbach and Craig Kieswetter putting on an opening partnership of 50 in 33 balls before Kieswetter fell for 22 to a brilliant catch from wicket-keeper Paine standing up to the stumps off Dimitri Mascarenhas.

That spelled the beginning of a dramatic collapse for the Heat with Joe Burns going for a duck, Lynn for one and Ben McDermott for a duck as well.

The Heat lost 4-27 in the space of 21 balls to see their charge for the finals just about end with Pomersbach out shortly after for 60 off 32 balls with eight fours and three sixes.

Brisbane was then 5-85 and even though Ben Cutting (35 from 21), Hopes (22 from 15), Daniel Vettori (12 from 12 not out) and Gannon (10 from nine not out) made some runs late, it was always going to be in a losing cause.

Leg-spinner Cameron Boyce was outstanding with the ball for the Hurricanes taking 3-21 from his four overs.

Ben Laughlin finished with 2-39, Mascarenhas 2-42 and Malik 1-23.

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