For most of the run-chase, Melbourne Stars seemed in complete control of the situation. But towards the end, they had to endure one or two nervous moments before coming out on top by six wickets against Melbourne Renegades at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday (17 January, 2021).
A MOSTLY COMFORTABLE RUN-CHASE BY THE STARS
Chasing a target of 151, the Stars got off to a steady start. While only 13 runs were scored in the first three overs, Marcus Stoinis upped the ante in the final over of the Powerplay. At the other end, though, Andre Fletcher looked in discomfort after he got hit on his right wrist and was dismissed by Will Sutherland to give the Renegades hope.
From thereon though, the Stars were always in the driver's seat and that was despite losing the wicket of Stoinis in the ninth over. The Perth-born allrounder was bowled by Peter Hatzoglou for 43.
In the position that the Renegades find themselves on the league table, they would take every point that comes their way and they secured one in this game, thanks to the Bash Boost rule. The Stars needed 17 runs off the 10th over to get the point and it looked like they would get there after managing 11 runs off the first three deliveries. Imad Wasim then came back well and despite Glenn Maxwell and Nick Larkin clearly aiming to get the point, the Stars fell short.
While the Stars were cruising, the Renegades did well to restrict the scoring rate and gave themselves a chance. The pressure told as Maxwell was dismissed by Kane Richardson for a 19-ball 20. It was an uncharacteristic innings from the Stars skipper who usually bats at a much quicker rate.
The Renegades sniffed another opening when Larkin was dismissed for 43 in the first over of the Power Surge. But Nick Maddinson and Hilton Cartwright put on an unbeaten 30-run partnership to ensure three points for the Stars from this game.
ANOTHER BATTING COLLAPSE FOR THE RENEGADES
Earlier, after he opted to bat, Aaron Finch’s poor run of form continued as he was dismissed for a two-ball duck by opposing captain Maxwell. But after the loss of that wicket, the Renegades recovered well, with Sam Harper getting off to a quick start. Harper, along with Shaun Marsh, did a fantastic job of rebuilding the Renegades' innings. The former was the more aggressive of the two and went on to notch up his second fifty of the season.
The Stars had an opportunity to break the partnership, but Liam Hatcher dropped a pretty simple chance in the ninth over. It was Marsh who was the fortunate batsman, but the drop didn't prove too costly for the Stars as the left-handed batsman had to head back to the pavilion in the next over. The second-wicket partnership of 78, though, gave the Renegades a great platform.
While Jake Fraser-McGurk – bowled by Zahir Khan – couldn't make a big contribution, Mackenzie Harvey played an excellent cameo. The 20-year-old's 17-ball 29 included two fours and as many sixes. With just over five overs left in the innings, the Renegades seemed to be in a very good position, with the score reading 120/3, but it all fell apart very quickly for the BBL 08 champions as they lost their last seven wickets for just 30 runs.
The batting collapse began on the final delivery of the 15th over when Hatcher bowled Harvey and it was all one-way traffic after that. The Power Surge was taken at the start of the 17th over, but those two overs didn't prove to be too productive for the Renegades as they managed only 15 runs and lost the crucial wicket of Harper who was the outstanding batsman of the innings.
Wickets then fell in a heap and the Renegades were finally bowled out for 150. Hatcher, on his return, took three wickets for the Stars while Zahir and Billy Stanlake accounted for two dismissals each.
With this win, the Stars have moved up to third on the league table while the Renegades stay bottom with 10 points on the board.