New Big Bash champion to be crowned


Melbourne Stars clinched their maiden berth in the Big Bash League Final with a convincing seven-wicket victory over the Perth Scorchers at the MCG on Friday.

The hosts will now face Sydney Thunder, who beat Adelaide Strikers by eight wickets, in the tournament showdown on Sunday.

Stars' batsman Kevin Pietersen played a key role in their progression, knocking 62 runs from 36 balls to confirm his status as a big-match player.

The Englishman turned the tables of the match after coming into the crease, as the Stars' marquee man steered his side into the final with some measured, calculated and aggressive hitting.

"That's what we've been drumming into the lads for the last six weeks," man of the match Pietersen told reporters after the win. "Consequences? Why worry about consequences? Why worry about results?

"We're not even going to worry about Sunday. We've got no interest in Sunday. We just prepare. We turn up, we play the way we play and if we win, we win."

The 104-Test match veteran added: "I've had to deal with the weight of expectation for 10 years playing for England.

"Every time I walked out to bat I had people gunning me for 10 years."

Thunder batsman Clint McKay - released by the Melbourne Stars at the end of last season after barely being given a go - says he holds no grudges against his former team and is looking forward to the encounter.

"I've got no hard feelings [for] the Melbourne Stars," said McKay,

"I've still got some of my great mates who play there. I have a lot of respect for their whole squad, to be honest, and [chief executive] Clint Cooper is a great operator and he's a good friend of mine as well. 

"It would be great to beat them, but at the end of the day I don't care who we play, I just want to go out and win this tournament. That's what we're here to do and that's what we've been wanting to achieve from the start."

Hussey brothers David and Michael come up against each other as opposing captains for the Stars and Thunder respectively.

With both sides making their first ever Big Bash Final, we are guaranteed a new champion by Sunday night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.