Into the New Year, and three more games in the BBL this week. There was the Melbourne derby on Saturday morning, which saw the Stars come away with victory, while the Brisbane Heat won their first game of the tournament against the Thunder on Sunday.
Game 16 – Saturday 2 January
Melbourne Renegades – 161/7 (20) – White 54, Finch 36 – Hastings 4-29
Melbourne Stars – 163/3 (19.1) – Wright 109*, Maxwell 22
Melbourne Stars win by seven wickets.
Chris Gayle was out cheaply for the Renegades, but Aaron Finch and Cameron White put on a quick fire partnership to get the side going. Matthew Wade then chipped in, and when White reached his fifty, they looked on for a good total. However, John Hastings took four wickets to slow the run rate down, and restrict the Renegades to 161 in their twenty overs.
Luke Wright came out to bat for the Stars and he never looked like getting out, as he hit a fantastic knock of 109* to take the Stars to victory. He was helped along the way by Glenn Maxwell, and over the line by Peter Handscomb, as the Renegades bowling attack never got going, with just three bowlers taking wickets. A BBL record 80,883 saw this game on Saturday morning.
Game 17 – Saturday 2 January
Sydney Sixers – 112/8 (20) – Lumb 47, Carters 27 – Willey 3-22, Tye 2-21, Behrendorff 2-22
Perth Scorchers – 114/1 (14.3) – S Marsh 63*, Klinger 28
Perth Scorchers win by nine wickets.
The Sixers’ innings started badly and got worse, really. Only Michael Lumb at the top of the order managed to survive for any real time, hitting 47 from 45. David Willey and Jason Behrendorff did the damage up front for the Scorchers, who reduced the Sixers to 48/4. Ryan Carters hit 27 late on, but their total was restricted to a below-par 112.
Perth only needed three batsmen, and 14.3 overs, to complete this easy run chase. Once again, Michael Klinger and Shaun Marsh got them off to a good start, and when Sean Abbott got the first wicket, Marcus Harris just came in and continued where his captain left. Shaun Marsh was the star of the innings, hitting an unbeaten 63 as the Scorcher won by nine wickets.
Game 18 – Sunday 3 January
Sydney Thunder – 186/5 (20) – M Hussey 56, Watson 46
Brisbane Heat – 189/4 (19.3) – Lynn 75, Peirson 40 – Russell 2-28
Brisbane Heat win by six wickets.
After Jacques Kallis and Aiden Blizzard were dismissed inside the power play overs, Shane Watson and Mike Hussey put on a 97 run partnership, with the latter, the Thunder captain, reaching a half-century. Andre Russell and Ben Rohrer got the Thunder up to an above-par score of 186, with four of the Heat’s bowlers taking a solitary wicket.
Jimmy Peirson and Lendl Simmons came out firing in the run chase, with both lasting the first nine overs. Chris Lynn, the Brisbane Heat captain, then came in and hit an amazing 75 from just 32 deliveries to put the Heat in striking distance of the target. Despite two wickets form Andre Russell, Ben Cutting got the chase over the line with three balls to spare.
Points Table (through 18 games):
Scorchers – 4, 6
Thunder – 5, 6
Strikers – 4, 6
Hurricanes – 4, 6
Stars – 4, 4
Sixers – 6, 4
Renegades – 4, 2
Heat – 5, 2