AAP Other sport

George Bailey queries BBL finals format

By AAP Newswire

Hobart Hurricanes veteran George Bailey says there's merit in giving the top two Big Bash League teams a second bite of the cherry come finals.

The Hurricanes finished two wins clear on top of the BBL08 ladder to earn a home semi-final on Thursday against the Melbourne Stars.

But there's little margin for error, with the match sudden death.

Bailey said with the BBL expanded, it should follow the Indian Premier League (IPL) format where the top two teams play off for a final berth in week one of the finals but get a second chance if they lose.

"I think that the finals system in the IPL is quite good, where one and two play off," the 36-year-old told reporters.

"Three plays four and the winner plays the loser of the first semi, giving them a double chance.

"The longer the tournament goes, the more you can mount an argument that to finish first or second should be rewarded."

Ever the diplomat, Bailey added he understood high-stakes sudden death was part of Twenty20's appeal.

"The team who plays two good games is going to end up winning the title, and that's well deserved as well."

While the Hurricanes locked up top spot with a game to play, the Stars only secured fourth position with a 94-run win over the Sydney Sixers in their last regular-season match.

It was headlined by a masterful 82 from 43 balls by Glenn Maxwell, who was crowned international male Twenty20 cricketer of the year at Monday night's Australian Cricket Awards.

"The challenge with someone like Maxi, is how dynamic he is - a player who can hit the ball 360 degrees," Bailey said.

"You try and block one part of the field, and he seems to access another part. He's someone you're pretty keen to get rid of early."

But Bailey, who handed the Hurricanes' captaincy to Matthew Wade not long after the season started, said it would be foolish to focus on one player.

"The other one to be a bit concerned about is Nic Maddinson, who's hardly done anything all tournament. That worries me a little bit too because he's a quality player," Bailey said.

"They've got some phenomenal strikers, dangerous against pace or spin. They'll be pretty battle-hardened and ready to play under pressure."