Captain Marvel reinstates Renegades’ finals status
A MASTERCLASS in the art of the T20 run chase from Aaron Finch has seen his Melbourne Renegades secure their BBL|12 finals spot. Playing in his 100th BBL game, the Renegades captain compiled an unbeaten 63 (54) to help hunt down the Adelaide Strikers’ total of 7-142 with eight balls to spare at Marvel Stadium.
Now, after racking up three-straight wooden spoons, the Melbourne-based side will play in the postseason for the first time since BBL|8, when they miraculously took out the title. Not only that, but the Renegades will also host a final, poised to finish either third or fourth pending today’s results.
Having restricted the Strikers relatively well after winning the toss and bowling, things looked dire for the home side at 3-16 as Wes Agar and Peter Siddle struck with their first legal deliveries. That was extended to 3-27 at the end of a powerplay which seemed to last for an age, littered with DRS reviews and sundries.
Enter Finch, who took control of the game and kept the required rate at just over seven runs an over, forced to take few risks in definitive partnerships alongside Matthew Critchley (35) and Jono Wells (20*). Though the former was dismissed unnecessarily in a sloppy runout, the latter picked up well with proactive strokeplay.
Finch and the ‘Gades also timed their power surge perfectly, enacting it in the 18th over and taking the winning 24 runs off just eight deliveries, with the last being an unceremonious wide. Earlier, the Strikers also took full toll in their surge overs through the agency of Alex Carey. Ending with 65 off 47 balls, the elegant gloveman was the only Striker to truly look comfortable at the crease.
Expert seam bowling from Tom Rogers (1-12) and Kane Richardson (1-22), complimented by brave spin overs by Fawad Ahmed (3-17) and Corey Rocchiccioli (1-36) proved hard to handle for all other comers though, including Travis Head, who was dotted up and rode his luck en route to 19 off 32.
Harry Nielsen‘s 18* in the dying stages of Adelaide’s batting inning looked to be a crucial dig on the tricky Marvel Stadium deck, though hardly proved costly in the end. Will Sutherland would have breathed a sigh of relief, having conceded 17 off the last over which was not taken by a sore Richardson.
While the Renegades’ finals fate will be determined in the coming hours, Adelaide’s season comes to an end. After beating the ‘Gades on January 10, they went on to lose five games consecutively to end the season, and will end the campaign no higher than sixth.
RESULT: Melbourne Renegades (4-143) def. Adelaide Strikers (7-142) by 6 wickets
POTM: Aaron Finch (Melbourne Renegades)
TOSS: Melbourne Renegades won the toss and elected to bowl.
Aaron Finch 63* (54), Matthew Critchley 35 (29), Jono Wells 20* (19)
Fawad Ahmed 3-17, Tom Rogers 1-12, Kane Richardson 1-22 (3)
Alex Carey 65 (47), Travis Head 19 (32), Harry Nielsen 18* (13)
Peter Siddle 1-24 (3.2), Matt Short 1-26 (3), Wes Agar 1-32
Power Play (1-4)
Melbourne Renegades: 3-27
Adelaide Strikers: 1-15
Melbourne Renegades: 3-71
Adelaide Strikers: 2-49
Melbourne Renegades (17.0-18.2): 0-24
Adelaide Strikers (11-12): 1-30