BBL 2023 continues as Melbourne Renegades 115 (Finch 36, Marsh 28, Dwarshuis 4-17, Abbott 2-17) were defeated by Sydney Sixers 149 for 8 (Philippe 55, Vince 26, Mujeeb 3-29) by 34 runs. Quick Ben Dwarshuis delivered an outstanding return to deny Melbourne Renegades’ veteran hitters and lead Sydney Sixers to a 34-run win at the SCG. With the Sixers defending a modest 150, left-arm Dwarshuis grabbed four vital wickets on a track that began to play tricks as the game progressed. After a promising start to the season, the Renegades’ batting lineup collapsed, leading to their second consecutive loss. Since coming home, the Sixers have recaptured their form and won their third game in a row.
BBL, Renegades are sunk by hostile Dwarshuis
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In the absence of injured spinner Steve O’Keefe, Moises Henriques chose to begin the bowling with Dwarshuis, who made his first appearance since the Sixers’ season opener against the Adelaide Strikers. It was a great decision since he removed Martin Guptill in the first over and established the tone in his 1st BBL 2023 match. As Dwarshuis produced an ominous bounce, his sharpest delivery smacked Aaron Finch on the hand. He dismissed Jonathan Wells in the 13th over to finish with the remarkable statistics of 2 for 3 from three overs.
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But he wasn’t finished. When Renegades took the power surge in the 17th over, Dwarshuis was given the ball. After being hammered for a big six by Will Sutherland, which marred his otherwise immaculate stats, Dwarshuis retaliated on the next ball and then ended his outstanding effort by dismissing Peter Handscomb. Dwarshuis, who made his T20I debut in Pakistan earlier this year, provided a reminder of his abilities, finishing with 4 for 17 from 4 overs characterized by 19 dot balls.
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BBL, Returning Renegades stars struggle
Renegades’ addition of Guptill, Handscomb, and Shaun Marsh gave a plethora of experience. Guptill, who had only played one BBL match a decade ago, lasted just four deliveries, while Marsh battled early in his comeback from lingering calf troubles. Marsh seemed rusty in his first encounter since captaining Western Australia to the Sheffield Shield triumph last season, scoring three runs off ten deliveries before unleashing his signature punches. As the Renegades moved into the box seat at the midway point, he forged a flourishing relationship with Finch, worth 55 runs. Marsh, though, was bowled for 28 by seamer Hayden Kerr, and the Renegades faded away from there.
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BBL, Philippe eventually pulls the trigger.
The Sixers’ top-of-the-order duo of Kurtis Patterson and Josh Philippe sparked a lot of interest. Patterson was the Perth Scorchers’ leading run-scorer last season before electing to return home. However, the collaboration has failed to produce. They went through the powerplay before Patterson’s miserable season continued in the fifth over when he was caught for 17 runs.
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It was his third start in a row, but his best score is still just 38. Philippe, a star hitter in previous seasons, had also played well but was hungry for a huge hit. After a slow start, he sped up the pace with an attack on the spin in the sixth and seventh overs. Philippe slog-swept two sixes off Mujeeeb Ur Rahman before escaping Wells’ missed grab. It seemed to be the opener’s night when he smashed his first half-century of the season and just the second by a Sixers batter in the tournament.
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However, he miscued a scoop shot on the last ball of the 12th over, with the Sixers set to grab the power surge. Philippe trudged away, knowing he had blown a great chance. Sutherland is brilliant with the ball. With the Renegades’ key bowlers performing their jobs, allrounder Sutherland has been used sparingly. The 23-year-old fast bowled just five overs in four matches, but he made an impact when required against the Sixers.
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Renegades were facing death in the face until Sutherland fired Philippe and James Vince to alter the tide. To demonstrate his versatility, he bowled deft slower deliveries, including a pearler to remove Vince. Sutherland made headlines before the BBL season after taking 15 wickets in his past two Sheffield Shield matches. He’s unlikely to replace injured Australia allrounder Cameron Green in the third Test against South Africa at the SCG, but don’t be shocked if his name is mentioned. His excellent bowling performance was well-timed.
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