BBL12, Melbourne Renegades 162 for 7 (Harper 51, Wells 44) defeated Melbourne Stars 156 for 7 (Clarke 59) by six runs. Stars needed 21 off 25 balls with seven wickets in hand but couldn’t get over the line. In a tight match at a roofed Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Renegades produced a stirring comeback win to gravely undermine crosstown rival Melbourne Stars’ already thin finals aspirations.
After an 88-run opening combination between Joe Clarke and Tom Rogers, the Stars were cruising in pursuit of 163. They seemed to be in a good position, requiring 21 runs from 25 balls with seven wickets in hand, but buckling under pressure. With the Stars needing 12 runs off the last over, seamer Will Sutherland kept his composure and bowled Luke Wood out on the fourth ball.
However, Nick Larkin struck a boundary and need a six off the last ball to force a super over. A calm Sutherland delivered a wide yorker as Renegades reclaimed the Melbourne Derby after winning a contentious fight at the MCG on January 3. Renegades seamer Kane Richardson completed with 2 for 17 in his 100th BBL game, thus ending the Stars’ finals hopes.
In Renegades Return BBL12, Fawad goes back in time
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Fawad Ahmed, a veteran spinner, last played for the Renegades eight years ago, but the 40-year-old returned as an injury substitute for seasoned hitter Shaun Marsh. He entered the game in the sixth inning but was hammered for six runs by Rogers. Fawad came back and dismissed Rogers after Sutherland claimed a magnificent juggling catch around the boundary rope, as he has done so many times in his career.
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As the Stars began to falter, Fawad bowled a maiden in the 13th over and then returned in the key 17th over, conceding just four runs to assure a close finish. Fawad ended with 1 for 20 from four overs but was forced to leave the field in the closing overs due to an apparent knee injury. Renegades will be hoping it isn’t severe after Fawad shows he still has something left in the tank.
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Stars fail to capitalize on their good fortune
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The roof of Marvel Stadium was closed due to harsh heat in Melbourne, with temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius before the game began. Clarke got off to a good start as he smacked the ceiling off a Sutherland ball to conclude the third over. A ball hitting the ceiling is now considered a six under BBL regulations, despite previously being a dead ball under old rules. Clarke would have undoubtedly presented a catching chance if there had been no roof, and he cashed in to ravage Renegades’ assault with a scorching half-century.
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In the 16th over, Beau Webster smacked a delivery straight up in the air before reaching the ceiling, giving the Stars even more luck. However, he was unable to capitalize and holed out soon thereafter as the Stars spiraled, much like their disastrous collapse against the Renegades in the BBL grand final in 2019. The sad setback has almost certainly destroyed the Stars’ ambitions of reaching the finals in what has been another disastrous season for the club.
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Finch may need to go up the order Aaron Finch has batted nearly entirely at No. 4 this season, which is similar to the position he played for Australia. He had batted effectively with a couple of half-centuries before falling cold with three consecutive single digits coming into this match. Coming to the crease in the sixth over, Finch began energetically, in contrast to his somewhat sedate batting this season, in which he has been focused on becoming the glue of the innings.
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He hit three boundaries in his first five deliveries, culminating with a down-the-ground slap of legspinner Adam Zampa. On the following delivery, though, he was fooled by a slower delivery and holed out too long on. Finch may need to return to the opening position, where he has enjoyed so much success during his lengthy career. This season, the Renegades’ batting has been a jumble, kept together at the present by Sam Harper, who hammered his third consecutive half-century in a purple patch. Jonathan Wells’ late burst of 44 off 24 balls propelled the Renegades to a competitive score that seemed to be beyond them.
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Zampa’s derby will be quieter
When Stars captain Zampa tried to run out Renegades batter Tom Rogers at the non-end striker’s during the last Melbourne Derby, mayhem followed. Some of the 38,5000 spectators at the MCG booed Zampa, and the event aroused international outrage. Zampa had a low-key performance this time, leading a Stars attack that was without quick Nathan Coulter-Nile and allrounder Marcus Stoinis. He shuffled his bowlers, with rookie seamer Brody Couch snaring the wickets of Martin Guptill and Rogers despite being costly in his season debut. Zampa had a point to make after being ruled out of Australia’s impending Test tour to India, and he used his typical skill to win the important wicket of rival Finch.
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