Rauf's hat-trick inspires Stars to BBL win

Oliver Caffrey
Haris Rauf snared a hat-trick before the Melbourne Stars beat the Sydney Thunder by six wickets

Pakistani quick Haris Rauf's meteoric rise has continued, with his stunning hat-trick boosting the Melbourne Stars to a six-wicket victory over the Sydney Thunder.

Incredibly it was the second hat-trick of the day after Adelaide spinner Rashid Khan tore through the Sydney Sixers in the Strikers' narrow defeat.

Rauf cleaned up Matthew Gilkes (41), captain Callum Ferguson (35) and Daniel Sams in the final over of the Thunder's innings as the pro-Stars crowd at the MCG erupted on Wednesday night.

The fast-bowler's heroics were the sixth hat-trick in the BBL's nine-season history, and he was fifth bowler to do it - Perth's Andrew Tye has two on his record.

Rauf only returned to the Stars' line-up for this match after South African pace legend Dale Steyn left for international duties following Saturday night's Melbourne derby victory over the Renegades.

The 26-year-old's 3-23 took him to 13 wickets for the tournament having been plucked from club cricket in Tasmania before the BBL.

The Stars' potent bowling attack, led by Rauf, restricted the Thunder to just 5-145 after captain Glenn Maxwell opted to bowl first.

The ladder-leading Stars had no trouble chasing down the mediocre total with the competition's leading run-scorer Marcus Stoinis (50) and Maxwell taking charge, securing their sixth-win of the season with 13 balls to spare.

During Maxwell's rollicking unbeaten 59 he passed former import Luke Wright as the Stars' all-time leading run-scorer.

"It feels like we're getting better and better, guys are still adapting to different situations in the game," Maxwell said.

"I think the way we're going we're matching up really well at different stages."

The Thunder were rocked pre-game with offspinner Chris Green banned from bowling for the rest of the BBL due to an illegal action.

"It was obviously quite disappointing, but I'm sure the Thunder and the rest of the team will back him," spinner Arjun Nair said.

BBL HAT-TRICKS

Xavier Doherty (Hurricanes) v Thunder in 2012-13

Andrew Tye (Scorchers) v Heat in 2016-17

Andrew Tye (Scorchers) v Sixers in 2017-18

Josh Lalor (Heat) v Scorchers in 2018-19

Rashid Khan (Strikers) v Sixers in 2019-20

Haris Rauf (Stars) v Thunder in 2019-20