Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live cricket blog of the second semi-final of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2015-16 tournament, between Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers. The match will be played between the two sides at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Considering the performance in the previous game, Stars won their previous game against this very same team convincingly by a good margin of 52 runs in an away tie at the WACA in Perth. Considering Stars’ batting performance, it was David Hussey, who played the healthy and match-winning knock of 36, while Rob Quiney and Evan Gulbis contributed with the score of 21 and 25, respectively. However, the Scorchers struggled with their bat as they were skittled for a mere 92 in pursuit of the chase of 147, set by the Stars, with Adam Voges being the top scorer with 46 runs.

Player of the Match: Kevin Pietersen (Melbourne Stars)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 140/3 in 18.1 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: David Hussey 7(3), Peter Handscomb 15(19): David Hussey hits the last ball of the 18th over for a boundary over mid-wicket. Scores are level. Handscomb picks a single next ball. With this, Melbourne Stars win this match comfortably. They were always at top in the match and their seven victory has come with 11 balls remaining which proves how well they dominated Scorchers’ bowlers. They will now face Sydney Thunder in the finals.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 135/3 in 17.5 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: David Hussey 3(2), Peter Handscomb 14(18): Joel Paris takes his revenge by sending KP back to the hut but it looks like it is too late for the Scorchers. Stars now need only five runs to win with 13 balls to go. Pietersen tried to play a reverse pull off a yorker but was not able to execute the shot well; the ball hits his off-stump .OUT! Kevin Pietersen b Joel Paris 62(36)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 126/2 in 16.3 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Kevin Pietersen 60(34), Peter Handscomb 10(14): Pietersen has went past his fifty. Batting on 60, he has struck two sixes and five fours. Last two deliveries have fetched Stars 10 runs through a four and a six. Pietersen first hit a boundary towards backward point off Paris and then goes over long-on for a huge six. Stars are now very close to winning this match.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 110/2 in 15 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Kevin Pietersen 48(29), Peter Handscomb 6(10): Pietersen hits a boundary, plays a dot and follows it up with a six. A flighted ball directed towards the off and middle stump and Pietersen hits it over long-off for maximum and takes his score to 48. He has played pretty well and thoroughly deserves a half century.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 93/2 in 13.2 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Kevin Pietersen 33(22), Peter Handscomb 5(7): Pietersen pulls Beherendorff for a four. A good shot which was very well timed. Peter Handscomb is doing the right thing by picking quick singles to bring the set batter Pietersen on strike. Scorchers need more wickets, if not now then it will be too late for them. Stars are very close to win this game. They require 47 runs from here on with 34 balls remaining and eight wickets left.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 83/2 in 11.4 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Kevin Pietersen 27(18), Peter Handscomb 1(1): Brad Hogg pitches the ball outside off and it turns quickly. Stoinis played across the line but fails to make contact with the ball. He is adjudged leg-before-wicket. Peter Handscomb comes to the middle. OUT! Marcus Stoinis lbw Brad Hogg 44(41)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 72/1 in 10 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Marcus Stoinis 41(37), Kevin Pietersen 22(14): Stoinis is approaching his half century. Batting on 41, he has hit four boundaries in his innings. Stoinis has played a patient innings as per T20I cricket but it was just what the Stars needed. They are not chasing a big target. They now need 68 runs off 60 balls with nine wickets in hand.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 62/1 in 8.1 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Marcus Stoinis 34(28), Kevin Pietersen 18(11): Boundaries have frozen after the sixth over where Stoinis had hit three consecutive fours off Tye. Both batsmen are batting sensibly, hitting big shots off lose deliveries else looking to rotate the strike. Stars require 78 more runs to win off 71 deliveries which is well within their grasp unless they do something silly or Scorchers pull off a miracle.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 53/1 in 6.5 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Marcus Stoinis 28(22), Kevin Pietersen 17(9): Melbourne Stars are batting with a run rate of approximately 7.50 which is above their required rate. Marcus Stoinis too is batting pretty well. In his 28-run innings so far, he has already struck four boundaries. Perth Scorchers need wickets since they are not defending a big total. It might be curtains for them if they are not able to take the wicket of Pietersen in the next few overs. Everyone is aware that Pietersen is capable of hitting big shots and when he is in his own, there is little that the opposition can do about it.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 38/1 in 5.4 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Marcus Stoinis 15(17), Kevin Pietersen 15(7): Pietersen has made himself clear right after he came to the middle having already hitting two shots to the fence and batting at a strike rate of just above 200. Stars now need 102 runs from 86 balls.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 19/1 in 4.1 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Marcus Stoinis 9(14), Kevin Pietersen 2(1): Kevin Pitersen arrives at the crease after the fall of Luke Wright. Willey bowled a length delivery on the middle stump, the batter tries to hit towards the covers and Adam Voges takes a spectacular diving catch. OUT! Luke Wright c Adam Voges b David Willey 7(10)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 7/0 in 2.5 Overs | Target 140 | BATTING: Luke Wright 3(7), Marcus Stoinis 3(10): No boundary hit till now. Both the openers are avoiding big shots. They are not chasing a big score but still in this shortest version of the game, a few quick overs and momentum can shift drastically. Left-arm fast bowler David Willey is bowling well.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Melbourne Stars 2/0 in 1 Over | Target 140 | BATTING: Luke Wright 1(3), Marcus Stoinis 1(3): A tight first over by Jason Beherendorff. Two dot balls and then Stoinis picks a single then. Luke Wright too is not able to pick a run on the next two deliveries but is able to get a quick run off the last delivery by hitting the ball towards the short cover.

INNINGS BREAK

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 139/7 in 20 Overs; BATTING: Cameron Bancroft 13(8), Joel Paris 1(2): Sound of timber! Daniel Worrall cleans up Andrew Tye for a duck. A full delivery and the batter tries to play a shot across the line but the ball takes the inside edge of his bat and disturbs the bails. Worrall then bowls a no-ball on the final delivery of the innings. Free Hit, the next ball and Joel Paris will face it. Paris makes room for himself but the bowler follows him and pitches it near his legs. Paris fails to make his bat make contact with the ball but the ball is deflected off his pads and Scorchers get a leg-bye. OUT! Andrew Tye b Daniel Worrall 0(2)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 128/6 in 19.1 Overs; BATTING: Cameron Bancroft 6(5), Andrew Tye 0(1): Scorchers are losing wickets in a heap and good thing for Melbourne Stars is that all their bowlers are picking wickets. Besides Worrall’s two wickets, four more bowlers have picked up a wicket each. Brilliant comeback by Stars but can they bowl a tight final over? Let’s find out. OUT! Adam Voges c Hilfenhaus b Beer 52(40), OUT! David Willey c Hussey b Stoinis 0(1), OUT! Ashton Agar b Hilfenhaus 6(7)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 109/3 in 16.1 Overs; BATTING: Adam Voges 47(35), Cameron Bancroft 0(0): Stars pick two back-to-back wickets; Michael Klinger off the last ball of the 16th over followed by David Willey on the first ball of the next over. A pre-meditated shot by Klinger did him in. He attempted a slog sweep but the ball got hit near the wide long-on region and the fielder takes a sitter. Stoinis bowled the next ball. It was a full delivery pitched outside off, David Hussey is clueless about the line and ends up giving an easy catch inside the circle. OUT! Michael Klinger c Marcus Stoinis b Adam Zampa 44(45), OUT! David Willey c David Hussey b Marcus Stoinis 0(1)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 101/2 in 14.4 Overs; BATTING: Michael Klinger 40(39), Adam Voges 44(33): Michael Klinger joins the party and hits the second six of the innings; first too was hit by him. A slow delivery which was directed towards the middle stump. He gets down the wicket on Ben Hilfenhaus but is not able to get the ball on the sweet spot of his bat but the force with which he hit the ball fetched him a six.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 86/2 in 12.5 Overs; BATTING: Michael Klinger 31(33), Adam Voges 38(28): A slower and fuller ball bowled by Stoinis. To make matters worse the line was not right and was directed much outside the off stump. Voges carts it for a four towards mid-off. Many singles follow after it; the batters are batting very smartly and are not trying to hit every ball, preferring to rotate the strike off good deliveries.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 74/2 in 11.2 Overs; BATTING: Michael Klinger 29(31), Adam Voges 28(21): After having slowed down in the last two overs, Voges gets back into his own. He smashes leg-break googly bowler Adam Zampa for a boundary down the ground. It was a fuller ball and Voges takes full advantage of it.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 63/2 in 9.2 Overs; BATTING: Michael Klinger 25(26), Adam Voges 23(15): The batters are rotating the strike pretty easily with the occasional boundary. Melbourne Stars need to build pressure and make singles and doubles difficult for the opposition. Scorchers would be looking to up the tempo after 2-3 overs; plenty of batting is yet to come but it would be in their interest that this partnership grows and blossoms and continues for the next few overs.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 51/2 in 7.4 Overs; BATTING: Michael Klinger 17(20), Adam Voges 19(11): Michael Klinger and Adam Voges are trying hard to get Scorchers out of trouble. Klinger is playing a patient game but Voges has already made his intentions clear having already struck four boundaries in the 11 deliveries he has faced so far. Three of his fours came against medium pacer Evan Gulbis and one off Beer.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 37/2 in 6.1 Overs; BATTING: Michael Klinger 15(16), Adam Voges 5(4): Michael Carberry attempts a cut but does not gets enough room to execute the shot and edges the ball to the wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb. Perth Scorchers now need a partnership. They cannot afford to lose another wicket from this moment on. OUT! Michael Carberry c Handscomb b Worrall 13(12)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 26/1 in 4.1 Overs; BATTING: Michael Carberry 9(8), Michael Klinger 14(13): Both the Michaels are taking their time to settle down. They have also struck a boundary each. Fast bowler Daniel Worrall and slow left-arm orthodox bowler Michael Beer are bowling at the moment.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Perth Scorchers 15/1 in 1.4 Overs; BATTING: Michael Carberry 6(3), Michael Klinger 6(3): It has been a decent start by Perth Scorchers but they have lost the wicket of Marcus Harris. He tried to pull but did not get the ball in the middle of his bat and top edged it towards the mid-off region. OUT! Marcus Harris c Quniey b Worrall 1(4)

Teams:

Melbourne Stars: David Hussey (c), Luke Wright, Marcus Stoinis, Kevin Pietersen, Peter Handscomb (wk), Rob Quiney, Evan Gulbis, Adam Zampa, Ben Hilfenhaus, Daniel Worrall, Michael Beer

Perth Scorchers: Adam Voges(c), Michael Klinger, Marcus Harris, Michael Carberry, Cameron Bancroft (wk), Ashton Agar, David Willey, Joel Paris, Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye, Brad Hogg

TOSS: Melbourne Stars have won the toss and they will be fielding first in the second semi-final of the Big Bash League (BBL) tournament on Friday, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Jackson Coleman will be making his debut in this match.

Considering the bowling attack, for Scorchers, it was Matt Dixon, who claimed three for 33, while Andrew Tye claimed a couple for 25, while the rest of the bowlers contributed decently, claiming a wicket each. As for the Stars, it was the likes of Daniel Worrall and Ben Hilfenhaus that shattered the Scorchers batting line, with three wickets each for 11 and 17, respectively while Adam Zampa claimed a couple for 16.

Whereas Scorchers would definitely have to work on their batting and a major overhaul could be expected. However, few changes are very likely to happen in their squad. Overall, an enthralling tie is all set to unfold for the fans at the MCG, as they winner gets a shot at the title against Sydney Thunders, who beat the Adelaide Strikers by eight wickets in the first semi-final at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.