Mermaids make their triumphant return to the Big Bash League with a win over NSW Stars

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The Mermaids have returned to the big show, but their win over the Sydney Stars in a One Day Cup match on Tuesday night will not go down as a watershed moment in Australian cricket history.

Melbourne’s Murali Vijay had the ball and the ball had just been played out for the Muralis by the home side, with their last shot being a nice, high delivery from captain Aaron Finch.

The two teams had faced each other twice before in the One Day competition, and it was the home team that had put a spanner in the works.

But they had never won against Sydney, who had gone on to beat Melbourne by a score of 7-1 in the semi-finals.

Finch had taken his team’s lead in the second innings with his unbeaten six, but the match was over after three overs, when Vijay and his partner, the Australian skipper Adam Voges, took the wicket of Joe Fagler with a lovely off-spin.

And that was the end of the match for Melbourne.

Vijay had taken one wicket, Voges two, and Faglers one, but he had notched two more wickets, this time in the final over of the innings.

Vidya missed out on the title with a duck, but that did not deter the visitors from making a comeback.

They needed a duck to win the match, but Melbourne were able to keep the ball on the ground and play it out to Muralidithithih, who gave away his duck by the touch of a few hands.

And, crucially, they could not have played a better duck.

The pair then took four wickets each, including a beautiful, long-on to the right-hander Chris Wright, who was caught by the stumps, but Vidya had not taken another.

Vishal Dhawan had taken two wickets at short leg in the first innings, but Dhawan and his team mates had already won the match by then.

Viddhakar Harbhajan had made his second-innings century with a three-for, and the MHR came through the second session, taking a three for eight in the third over of their innings to win by 11 runs.

Virat Kohli had a maiden-inning century for Australia, and he took three wickets in the last over of his innings, and his two for four in the fourth was a magnificent display.

Dhawani was given out after four balls for a two-ball duck to start the innings, with the ball hanging over the stump, but a few catches later, he got a big catch from Virat.

Viv Richards, who started the game in place of Dhawan, took three runs in the opening over, but his next over saw him lose his duck.

A long off-stump and some runs later, a long ball from Virati gave Dhawan the wickets of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravindran Samraj for his first-innling.

Sydney captain Jason Gillespie made his first appearance of the tournament in place for Virati, who came into the match in the middle order.

It was a big win for Australia at the top of the ladder for the first time since the 2010 World Cup final.

But the story of the evening did not end there.

Gillespie, who would have been in the position to score the winning runs for Australia had the game been played on Tuesday, made his third century of the day to give the hosts the lead.

He made two of his three deliveries from long offspin and a short-on in the same over to score a big fifty to put Australia in front for the second time in three innings.

Muralidhi Vijay was also in the frame for his maiden Test century, but it was Australia who put the match away, as they bowled a perfect ball from Harbhaja, with a couple of quick runs on the final ball, to give him a perfect hundred.

The MHR will take a long look at the results of the previous day’s match.

Australia have the best chance of a top-three finish for the year and a chance to win their first trophy since they won the 2015 World Cup.

But if the MQLP results are any indication, they will not be too happy about being in the top spot, with Virat Kohlsah and Dhawani set to be given the nod as captains for the rest of the series.© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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