Saturday 16 December 2017 / 11:43 PM

MAGIC JOHNSON LEADS SEMI-FINAL ROUT

A scintillating bowling display from pace veteran Mitchell Johnson set up an emphatic seven-wicket win for the Perth Scorchers over the Melbourne Stars in the first Big Bash semi-final on Tuesday.

At the familiar surrounds of the WACA, Johnson finished with the unbelievable figures of 3/3 off four overs, initiating a top-order collapse from which the Stars would never recover as they finished on the modest total 8/136.

Johnson removed Melbourne openers Rob Quiney and Luke Wright for ducks in the first four balls of the match, before getting rid of danger-man Kevin Pietersen (5), who spooned an easy catch to Michael Klinger at the start of the fifth over.

Marcus Stoinis (5) lasted just 11 balls before falling to Jhye Richardson, leaving the Stars in deep trouble at 4/26.

Seb Gotch (48) and captain David Hussey (26) stemmed the haemorrhage of wickets with a 52-run partnership, but after Hussey holed out to Ashton Turner in the 14th over, the Stars’ lower-order provided meagre support for keeper Gotch.

Ashton Agar, Tim Bresnan and Andrew Tye picked up late wickets for the Scorchers, while the Stars limped to the end of the innings with Daniel Worrall (13*) and Scott Boland (8*) finishing unbeaten.

Worrall had Klinger (7) out in the second over of the home side’s chase, but Sam Whiteman (31 from 26) and Shaun Marsh (56 not out from 44) ensured the Scorchers were never in any real danger in failing to reach the target.

After Adam Voges’ (13) 11-ball cameo, Ian Bell (26 not out off 15) chimed in towards the end of the chase alongside Marsh, the former Test teammates steering Perth home with 19 balls to spare.

The Scorchers will host the winner of Wednesday’s Brisbane Heat-Sydney Sixers semi in the Big Bash final at the WACA on Saturday night.

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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