The Heat broke their two-game losing streak with what was an easy win in the end. It was all of the same for Renegades as it has been throughout the season. They failed to turn up on both departments. The horror run for Aaron Finch continued. Dismissed in four today, he averages 14.4 this season.
Winning the bat flip, Heat opted to bat. It turned out to be an excellent decision as the pitch misbehaved as the match progressed. The run-scoring became tougher even for the set batsmen.
Starting the game off, the first three balls swung for Josh Lalor. He decided to pull the length back on the next one. The ball took the outside edge of Chris Lynn's bat. It went a touch too wide for Sam Harper's wingspan. It was enough to charge Lynn up and weigh Lalor down. Lynn drove, slashed and flicked him for two sixes and four in the next five balls he faced from the left-armer.
The spinners were more in control in the first four Powerplay overs. Imad Wasim and Peter Hatzoglou, bowling an over each, went for 9 runs in total.
There were boundaries on offer as pace resumed through Zak Evans. This time both Lynn and Max Bryant feasted themselves but not without some help from the fielders in the deep.
Setting his eye in, Lynn was severe on spin as well. Clearing his front leg to execute a slog and using a deft paddle, he hit Wasim for two boundaries to cap-off the first six overs.
In his first two overs of the day, Hatzoglou went for only nine runs. He continued to bowl on his middle and leg line. The only ball he provided some width on, Bryant smashed him for a boundary. He hit his best shot of the innings, with an authoritative pull to Jack Prestwidge in the next over.
Looking in a murderous mood, Lynn hit Evans between mid-off and cover boundary for a six to reach his half-century off 29 balls. That's when Evans made a comeback but not because of his own doing. To a ball in the slot, Lynn mistimed a slog to the fielder at deep midwicket. Cutting a ball too close to his body, Bryant departed in the same over.
With orthodox batsmen in Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Denly in, the scoring rate dropped for Heat. The pair added 22 runs in the next 21 balls before Denly lost patience and was out stumped to Wasim.
At first, heat continued the spiral downwards since Lynn's dismissal. After scoring 60 runs in overs 9-15, the next two overs - that of the Power Surge - went for only 14 runs. Moreover, they lost Joe Burns in the first of those overs.
When Labuschagne hit a boundary in the 16th, it was the first after 36 balls for Heat. However, Labuschagne altered his approach and targeted the leg-side boundary to hit two sixes in the next two overs. But, he fell one short of a half-century, attempting a paddle sweep to hit a six in consecutive balls.
A no-ball on height and a six to finish off the innings helped Heat finish on a high. They added 41 runs in the last three overs, putting up a fighting 173.
Having lost his touch in the last four games, Shaun Marsh started with a bang. He drove the first ball of the innings from Xavier Bartlett for a four to the square boundary. He hit one more in the over with a glance to fine leg and followed up with another cover drive in the next over.
In their biggest issue this season, Finch's poor run of form continued. After an outside edge that flew past the slip cordon, Mark Steketee pitched the next one up that kept a bit low and angled in. It found Finch plumb in front.
The pitch had signs of being two-paced. A ball from Steketee kept low but fortunately for Marsh, it pitched outside leg. A back of a length ball in Steketee's next over climbed more than Marsh's expectation. Sam Harper assaulted rising balls and hit two sixes to the deep leg-side boundary.
Soon after the first six overs, the Renegades lost Marsh to Mitchell Swepson. With the asking rate climbing and his own innings nearing the pace of a run a ball, he opted for the riskier move but could not clear long-off.
That put the responsibility on Harper. He unleashed scoops to pacers, drove spinners and continued to dominate short-pitched stuff. He smashed four fours and a six in the next three overs after Marsh's dismissal. Meanwhile, Jake Fraser-McGurk failed to clear the fielders in the ring on the off-side.
Labuschagne came on to bowl the 12th over and practically ended the game. Harper tonked him for a six down the ground. Looking to give the same treatment to the next one, bowled short, Harper got a top-edge and landed in the gloves of the keeper.
After Harper's dismissal, the rate of scoring dropped further. Heat managed only 16 runs in the next 20 balls. Moreover, they lost two more wickets, one to a decent catch and the other to a casual run-out.
61 runs needed in the last five is not a tall order in this age. But, not with only four wickets in hand.
In the end, Renegades fell well short and were bowled out with eight balls to go. They started the last phase with a bang, hitting Steketee for 16 runs in the first Power Surge. But, as soon as the tail was exposed after the dismissal of Wasim in the next over, things derailed very soon.
Heat climbed to the fourth spot as of now with their campaign till alive.