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Abbott, Botha blitz take Sydney Sixers to semi-finals

Johan Botha scored 25 runs off 13 deliveries in the chase
Johan Botha scored 25 runs off 13 deliveries in the chase

Sydney Sixers 160-7 (Abbott 33no) beat
Melbourne Stars 156-8 (Wright 62) by three wickets
32nd match, Big Bash League, Melbourne

Johan Botha and Sean Abbott scored 58 runs from 30 deliveries combined as Sydney Sixers chased down 157 against Melbourne Stars in 19 overs in a thrilling three-wicket win to secure a place in the semi-final of the Big Bash League.

Despite, the defeat, Melbourne Stars too make it to the top four along with Sixers, Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers.

Sydney Sixers won the toss and elected to field first. Rob Quiney (35) and Luke Wright (62) smashed eight boundaries and a six between them in the powerplay which also saw the former being dismissed in the final delivery. Melbourne Stars were 59 for one at that stage.

Wright continued the onslaught along with Kevin Pietersen (39) and reached his fifty off 38 deliveries. The 16th over bowled by Nathan Lyon (2-18) changed the complexion of the game. He dismissed both Wright and Evin Gulbis (0) in quick succession and from there on Stars never recovered.

In the last five overs, Melbourne Stars scored just 28 runs and lost seven wickets and were restricted to 156 for eight with Ben Dwarshuis (3-25) picking a three-wicket haul.

Sixers lost Michael Lumb (6) and Colin Munro (3) in the powerplay but Daniel Hughes (34) and Moises Henriques (20) tried to get going with a 31-run stand for the third wicket.

Scott Boland (3-37) triggered the collapse and in the final five overs, they needed 53 runs. That's when Abbott (33 not out) and Botha (25) came together for a 58-run stand which came in 30 deliveries to seal the chase in 19 overs with three wickets in hand.

The win has taken Sixers to the semi-final with Abbott bagging the player of the match.

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