sport

Stars extend winning run

Melbourne Stars continued their perfect campaign in the Big Bash League with a five-wicket victory over Hobart Hurricanes at the MCG.

England international Luke Wright was the Stars' main performer with the bat, smashing 52 from 36 deliveries as the Hurricanes' total of 131-9 was chased down with five balls to spare.

Scott Boland, John Hastings and Marcus Stoinis earlier took two wickets each to restrict the visitors to the modest total, the latter removing top-scorers Travis Birt (31) and Ben Dunk (30) in successive balls.

The victory puts Melbourne four points clear at the top of the table while the Hurricanes now face a winner-takes-all encounter with Brisbane Heat for the final place in the semi-finals.

After the Stars put their opponents in to bat Wright found himself at the centre of the action straight away, Tim Paine chipping the first ball of the innings from David Hussey into his hands at backward point.

Jonathan Wells (19) and Shoaib Malik (0) also departed early on, but Dunk and Birt began moving things along nicely before Stoinis accounted for them both in the 12th over, with Wright providing a fine reflex catch to remove Dunk.

Aiden Blizzard added an unbeaten 28 before the 20 overs were up, but Hastings' economical bowling prevented any late hitting.

The Stars did not make the smoothest of starts to their chase - Cameron White (4) and Rob Quiney (13) falling within the first five overs while Wright took his time to get his eye in.

But once the Englishman hit his stride the Hurricanes had no answer for him and when he departed at the start of the 15th over, the Stars were well on track.

The middle order had a simple task in wrapping up the win, Hussey taking them across the line with an unbeaten 19.