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Hobart Hurricanes squeeze past Melbourne Stars in BBL thriller

Caleb Jewell struck 70 from 44 balls as Hobart survived a late collapse to beat Melbourne Stars.

Caleb Jewell struck 70 from 44 balls as Hobart survived a late collapse to beat Melbourne Stars. Photo: AAP

A career-best Twenty20 score from in-form Caleb Jewell has helped Hobart Hurricanes overcome a late-innings meltdown to beat Melbourne Stars and keep alive their BBL finals hopes.

Jewell (70 off 44 balls) starred as the Hurricanes passed the Stars meagre score of 7-131 at Blundstone Oval by two wickets with 14 balls to spare, but only after the home team lost 7-35 after being 1-94.

The win moved the ‘Canes level on points with fifth-placed Adelaide, while the loss left the bottom-of-the-ladder Stars with just two victories from nine games.

Hilton Cartwright (57 off 47) played a lone hand for the Stars, who were short of firepower with Marcus Stoinis injured and Trent Boult having left the outfit.

Coming off scores of 54, 54 and 28, Jewell maintained his rich vein of form, beating his previous best T20 effort of 61 not out.

He struck eight fours and two sixes and the left-hander’s aggression always had his side well ahead of the required run rate.

Opener Ben McDermott was bowled by Liam Hatcher for two, but Jewell and Englishman Zak Crawley (30 off 34) added 84 off 10 overs for the second wicket.

Jewell reached his 50 off just 30 balls with a cover-driven boundary and smashed a six over midwicket off Luke Wood and another one over deep backward square leg off Adam Zampa.

The Hurricanes stumbled to the finishing line once Jewell was caught behind off the impressive Hatcher, who returned his best BBL figures of 3-25.

Earlier, Cartwright hit eight of his teams’ 12 boundaries off the bat with no other Star finding the rope until the 14th over.

The Hurricanes stand-in skipper Nathan Ellis (2-12) gave nothing away and Cartwright and James Seymour (20 off seven balls) were the only Stars to challenge the disciplined Hobart attack.

A third-wicket stand of 60 between Cartwright and Beau Webster (27 off 35) stabilised the innings after both openers fell early.

Big-hitting import Joe Clarke was run out after a mix-up and Tom Rogers holed out to square leg In the fifth over.

At one stage, Cartwright struck six fours in the space of nine balls but the boundaries dried up for almost eight overs.

Webster, who struggled with his timing to find gaps, broke the drought with a scoop to fine leg, but was out soon after off a leading edge.

The Stars scored just nine runs off their two Power Surge overs.

Ellis used seven bowlers across the first 10 overs with fellow quicks Riley Meredith (2-25) and Faheem Ashraf (2-29) performing well.

-AAP

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