Our event of the day is the first of the two Semi-finals in Australia’s Big Bash League, as the Hobart Hurricanes welcome the Melbourne Stars to the Blundstone Arena. The Stars will be looking to reach their first final since the 2015/16 season, on which occasion they lost out to the Sydney Thunder. Meanwhile, Hobart are no strangers to these high-stake games, having reached the final of this tournament twice in the last five campaigns. The Hurricanes were the stand-out performers of this campaign, topping the league with ten wins from their 14 outings. However, they lost all momentum in the final weeks of the season, losing three of their last five games. With their Semi-final ticket already booked, the Hurricanes took their foot off the pedal and will look to rediscover the form that saw them win nine of their first 11 games. They lead the league in runs scored, thanks in no small part to batsmen D’Arcy Short and Matthew Wade, who took the one and two spots in runs scored, notching 602 and 590 between them on the season. The pair also hit 109 fours between them and the Stars will be well aware they have a tough assignment on their hands containing the gifted batsmen.
Meanwhile, Melbourne had a less spectacular season, squeezing into a Semi-final spot with a record of seven wins and seven losses. Whilst they have been average with the bat in hand this season, the Stars have impressed with their bowling, with Marcus Stoinis and Liam Plunkett leading the side in wickets taken. The pair have registered 26 wickets between them and will have to be on their mettle if they are to get the better of Hobart’s impressive batting order. Whilst they are yet to win their first BBL title, the Stars have appeared in all seven finals series since it’s inaugural season and they will be desperate to defy the odds and reach their second ever final in today’s game. Hobart will go into this game full of confidence, having already beaten the Stars on two separate occasions this term. In their last meeting, the Hurricanes scored 185 for 2 and Melbourne will know they will likely have to take more wickets in tonight’s game if they are going to get the better of the number one ranked side. It should be an exciting game in Tasmania.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Europa League where Celtic host Valencia at Celtic Park in the first leg of the Round of 32. Upon reaching the same stage of the competition last year, Celtic crashed out at the hands of Zenit Saint Petersburg, and Brendan Rodger’s men will be looking to go one better this time round. Elsewhere, Premier League giants Arsenal and Chelsea will also look to begin to confirm their place in the last-16 of the Europa League, as they face BATE Borisov and Malmo respectively. There is an Eastern Conference clash in the NBA as Orlando Magic welcome the Charlotte Hornets to the Sunshine state, as the hosts look for their fourth straight win at the Amway Center. Meanwhile, South Africa and Sri Lanka will battle it out in the cricket as Day 2 of the First Test gets underway in Durban. In the snooker, Day 4 of the Welsh Open will take place as the world’s best battle it out for the £70,000 in prize money. Finally, there is a typically busy night in the NHL, headlined by Washington’s visit to San Jose as the Capitals take on the high-flying Sharks.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by BBL
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