Melbourne Stars pipped Sydney Thunder in ‘The Challenger’ to book a place in the final of the ongoing 2019-20 Big Bash League (BBL) season. The Glenn Maxwell-led side won eight back-to-back matches in the initial round to top the points table. With a total of 10 wins from their 14 round-robin matches, Melbourne Stars were the first team in the tournament to qualify for the playoffs.
Melbourne Stars started their BBL 2020 campaign with a game against Brisbane Heat on December 20, 2019. Riding on Maxwell’s heroic 83 off 39 balls, the Stars overcame the Heat by 22 runs to register their first points on the table. The Stars then travelled to Victoria for a home game against Hobart Hurricanes. Marcus Stoinis’ maverick 81* and a fifer by Haris Rauf led Stars to a resounding victory.
After winning their opening two games, Melbourne Stars' dominant run was put to a halt by Adelaide Strikers at the Metricon Stadium. In spite of Glenn Maxwell’s 25-ball 43, Stars fell short of their 175-run target by just 5 runs.
Their defeat to Strikers was followed by an 8-game winning streak. Their juggernaut began with close victories over Hurricanes and Thunder. It continued with one-sided affairs in their next six matches. In the game against Sydney Sixers on January 12, Marcus Stoinis achieved a BBL record by scoring 147* from just 79 balls.
Their winning streak was followed by three back-to-back defeats in their final three round-robin games. Even though Melbourne Stars managed to top the points table, they lost to Sydney Sixers by 43 runs in the qualifying match. However, the Glenn Maxwell-led side defeated the Thunder in ‘The Challenger’ to set up a title clash against Sydney Sixers on February 8 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Our squad for the @BBL Final is in, and we've made one change! 🤩 Here are the players we're taking to Sydney to go head-to-head with the @SixersBBL for the #BBL09 title! 🏆— Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) February 7, 2020
▶️ Jonathan Merlo
◀️ Dilbar Hussain
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