Jofra Archer’s Hobart Hurricanes saw their hopes of reaching the Big Bash League final ended as Melbourne Stars secured an shock six-wicket victory at Bellerive Oval.
The Hurricanes, who were beaten finalists last year, had topped the group standings with 10 wins from their 14 matches but could only manage 153 for seven after being put into bat, Daniel Worrall taking four wickets.
In reply, the Stars never looked like they would struggle to reach the modest victory target, as Peter Handscomb weighed in with 35 before captain Glenn Maxwell (43 not out) and Seb Gotch (33 not out) saw them home.
Hurricanes veteran George Bailey suffered what looked to be a serious shoulder injury when trying to stop a boundary from Maxwell. The 36-year-old former Australia T20 captain called for medical assistance before being helped off the pitch and assessed by the match doctor.
Earlier, opener D’Arcy Short made 35 before Ben McDermott added a rapid 53 and Bailey weighed in with 37 to help steady the Hurricanes’ innings following a fine display from Worrall, who could yet find himself in the Ashes squad to tour England.
Worrall had claimed two wickets during the second over, removing captain Matthew Wade (two) from his first delivery and then bowling Caleb Jewell (one) to leave the Hurricanes at five for two.
Archer, the Barbados-born fast bowler who is soon set to qualify for England, finished seven not out as the Hurricanes lost three wickets in the closing three overs.
Despite Archer removing opener Ben Dunk (nine) in the second over and an impressive three for 33 from 18-year-old Afghani leg spinner Qais Ahmad midway through Melbourne’s reply, the total never looked set to be enough.
Gotch secured the winning runs with a big six through cover, as the Stars finished 157 for four with more than an over left to play.
Friday’s semi-final sees Melbourne Renegades take on Sydney Sixers.