Inspiring Rauf takes Stars in the BBL final

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Pakistan pace sensation Haris Rauf bamboozled Sydney Thunder and prolonged his red-hot form at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the Challenger of the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL).

Melbourne Stars qualified for the final after thumping Thunder by 28 runs on Thursday. Rauf’s exceptional skills were portrayed once again as he took three wickets by costing only 17 runs in four overs.

The Thunder had already seen dangerman Alex Hales (8) run out and Usman Khawaja (23 off 15) bowled by Coulter-Nile after a promising start by the time Rauf tempted captain Callum Ferguson (7) into a misguided waft that sailed to wicketkeeper Seb Gotch.

Needing partnerships, Ross – whose knock of 58 included three fours and as many sixes – was combining well with Morris before the latter was bowled by the brilliant Rauf.

The writing was on the wall even before Ross and Nair each fell to Zampa in the 17th over and Rauf claimed one more for his personal tally from the final set of six when Lenton picked out Nic Maddinson at deep midwicket.

Rauf has now taken 20 wickets from just nine matches so far in the ongoing BBL. He is currently the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the season despite missing seven tournament matches.

The 26-year old also became the fastest to 20 wickets in BBL history – a record previously held by Mitchell Starc in 10 games.

The Melbourne Stars will now face Sydney Sixers in the final of the BBL at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in Sydney on Saturday.