Brisbane Heat almost messed up a simple chase but Joe Burns smashed a 14-ball 31* to ensure they got the better of Melbourne Renegades in Match No. 39 of the Big Bash League 2020-21 at the Manuka Oval, Canberra on Thursday (January 14). Having won four of their last five games, Brisbane have now moved to fifth place in the points table. Meanwhile, the Renegades are at the bottom of the points table, having won just two of their 10 encounters.
The Renegades batsmen once again failed to make an impact as they could only manage 149/6 in their 20 overs. Things would have been worse if not for Beau Webster's calculated 40-ball 50*. In reply, Chris Lynn (40-ball 50) and Joe Denly (26-ball 31) got the equation down to 48 off 42 before Brisbane suffered a minor collapse. Burns however held his nerves and smacked four fours and a six to push his team over the line with eight deliveries to spare.
RENEGADES BATSMEN CONTINUE TO DISAPPOINT
Melbourne got off to the worst possible start as they lost Shaun Marsh in the very first over. The in-form opener, who didn't feature in the last two games because of the birth of his third child, got a superb inswinger from Xavier Bartlett and was dismissed lbw for a golden duck. Coming in at No. 3, Sam Harper announced his arrival with a ferocious cover drive before playing a ramp shot off Mark Steketee (2/24). Jack Wildermuth however didn't bowl according to the field and offered quite a few deliveries on the slot. The right-arm seamer leaked 24 runs in his two overs as Melbourne raced to 32/1 at the end of the powerplay.
Matthew Kuhnemann, who was brought in place of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, gave Brisbane the much-required breakthrough before Mackenzie Harvey could do any further damage. The left-hander was caught at backward point for a 14-ball 20. Before the dust had settled, Steketee got rid of Harper for a 14-ball 15 and reduced Melbourne to 36/3. Batting outside the top three for the first time in his BBL career, Aaron Finch managed to spend some time in the middle but never looked comfortable. The Renegades skipper scored 13 before he was pinned right in front of the stumps off Wildermuth's bowling. Finch is averaging less than 18 and is yet to score a fifty this season.
The Renegades batsmen have struggled throughout the tournament and tonight was no different. Morne Morkel was brought in as the X-Factor sub for Bartlett and the former South African paceman looked in good rhythm on his BBL debut for Brisbane. Jake Fraser-McGurk and Webster took their time to settle in and even managed occasional boundaries to get their partnership going. The surface was slightly on the slower side but the Heat bowlers were impeccable with their line and length.
The Renegades took the Power Surge (overs 15-16) in search of some quick runs but Steketee and Morkel (1/29) didn't give Fraser-McGurk and Webster an inch in those two overs. The young duo could only manage 14 runs off the Power Surge and needed a couple of big overs to touch the 150-run mark. Fraser-McGurk smoked four fours and a maximum in his 33-ball 40 before mistiming one straight into the hands of Kuhnemann at long-on. Webster was around for a while and he finally opened his shoulders in the last three overs. The right-hander slammed Wildermuth for 15 runs in the penultimate over, as the right-arm seamer finished with figures of 1/52. Webster then clobbered Morkel for a six and then completed his fifty on the last delivery.
LYNN, BURNS GET THE JOB DONE
Imad Wasim and Kane Richardson kept it tidy in the first two overs and didn't allow Max Bryant and Lynn to get off to a rapid start. The left-arm spinner didn't bowl anything in Bryant's arc, while Richardson troubled Lynn with his inswingers. Lynn didn't get much strike in the Powerplay but Bryant managed to break the shackles with a couple of "fortunate" boundaries. The Heat only managed 25 runs in the Powerplay but didn't lose a single wicket.
The Heat were off to a decent start but needed to up the ante and that's exactly what Lynn tried. The dynamic opener hammered Imad for three consecutive boundaries but Peter Hatzoglou dismissed Bryant (26-ball 23) in the seventh over to keep the pressure on Brisbane. Melbourne had a chance to get rid of Lynn in the ninth over but Noor Ahmad dropped a sitter at deep backward square leg. Coming in at No. 3, Denly crafted Ahmad for a four and six and ensured Brisbane got the Bash Boost point.
Nothing went in Melbourne's favour. With 78 needed off 60, Lynn smoked Prestwidge for a six over deep backward point but the paceman would have had his revenge in the same over if he hadn't bowled a backfoot no-ball. Lynn was riding his luck but Denly kept his calm and looked in complete control. The Renegades kept dropping catches and Lynn made the most of it, completing his fifty off 38 deliveries. The shoulders were starting to drop before Richardson was brought back into the attack and the pacer knocked over Lynn for a 40-ball 51 to give his team some respite.
Lewis Gregory couldn't open his account, and that's when Heat took the Power Surge (16-17). The ploy however didn't go well for Denly who was caught at mid-on for a 26-ball 31. James Bazley (1) too couldn't contribute much and there was a bit of panic but Joe Burns managed a couple of boundaries off Hatzoglou to release some pressure. The right-hander then swept Ahmad for a maximum and that kind of killed the game. Burns, who has been in pretty decent form after being left out of the Australian Test squad, struck a couple of crucial boundaries and got the equation down to 10 off 12. He finished the game in the penultimate over and was named player of the match for his match-defining knock.