BBL: Finch guides ‘Renegades back into finals, ends Strikers’ season in Big Bash 2023, Match 54

After three years as wooden spooners, the Melbourne Renegades have secured a return to the BBL playoffs. Aaron Finch led the Melbourne Renegades to a six-wicket triumph against Adelaide Strikers, securing the club’s first KFC BBL finals berth in four years.

BBL12, Finch steers Renegades back into finals with a composed knock

BBL Finch guides ‘Gades back into finals, ends Strikers’ season in Big Bash 2023, Match 54-1

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Finch, who had previously celebrated his 100th BBL match by smashing an unbeaten 63 and guiding the Renegades home with 10 balls to spare at Marvel Stadium, escaped some early scares, including a delivery clipping his stumps but failing to remove the bails. To close the match, Australia’s T20 skipper hit his fourth fifty of the competition and 26th in the BBL, and he was joined at the crease by Jon Wells (20no).

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As wickets dropped around him, including those of veteran players Martin Guptill and Shaun Marsh, Finch remained composed as he constructed his innings before blasting the Renegades in the final 10 overs. Even on a tough field, the Strikers’ 7-142 loss ruined Adelaide’s feeble finals chances with their ninth defeat of the campaign. After winning their first championship in 2019, the Renegades went through three difficult seasons before putting up a significantly stronger performance in BBL|12.

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They now have a home final after defeating the Strikers to stop a two-game losing streak, and will finish third or fourth depending on Wednesday’s outcomes. A Heat win against the Hurricanes in Launceston would lift them ahead of the Renegades into third, but they will remain ahead of the Thunder regardless of the outcome of their game against the Stars since the net-run-rate disparity is too large to close.

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Earlier, Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey had a magnificent 65 from 47 balls in tricky circumstances, but the other Strikers batsmen struggled as Finch chose to bowl first. Travis Head, who has emerged as one of the most explosive middle-order batsmen in Test cricket, labored to 19 off 32 balls. Adelaide fell to 1-25 after the first powerplay and was unable to get any traction as experienced spinner Fawad Ahmed wreaked havoc with figures of 3-17.

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