CricketEddie OttoComment

BBL6 Game 27 Recap - Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Renegades @ Adelaide Oval

CricketEddie OttoComment
BBL6 Game 27 Recap - Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Renegades @ Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Strikers 7/165 (20 overs) Defeated By Melbourne Renegades 9/171 (20 Overs) 
Renegades Keep Season Alive With 6-Run Victory
The Melbourne Renegades finally got over the hump in a close game with a 6-run victory over the Adelaide Strikers at the Adelaide Oval. The Renegades have been the cardiac kids of this year's BBL, losing three games in the final over to put them on the brink of elimination. Last night they finally exorcised the ghosts of final over breakdowns in the field by defending a moderate 9/171 with some good bowling in the death overs, which had been the side’s weakness throughout the season. Thisara Perera exorcised the ghosts of his forgettable death bowling performance against the Hurricanes to claim 4/25 from his three overs as the Renegades held their nerve to hold off a valiant Strikers run chase. Earlier in the match, Marcus Harris had played a blinding 83 from 53 balls to carry the Renegades’ innings. The win means the Renegades sit in 5th place with a must win clash coming up in Brisbane against the Heat in their regular season finale. With a positive net run rate the Renegades would stand a decent chance of sneaking into the finals with a victory.
Strikers Done And Dusted
The Strikers have the ignominy of being the first team officially eliminated from playoff contention after their narrow loss overnight. Adelaide have so often been on the back foot in BBL6, and they couldn't manage to dig themselves out of a hole despite a decent fightback with the ball last night. The Strikers looked dead in the water early as the Renegades cruised to 1/100 in the 11th over, but managed an excellent fightback with the ball to claim 8/71 runs in the final nine overs. The Strikers have failed with the bat too often this year, and last night they couldn't close the door on a run chase they had within their grasp a few times. The bottom line is this side has failed to pass 170 in five of their seven games, which gives you the biggest indication possible as to why they sit on the bottom of the table. Clearly this side needs to target a genuine top order overseas player next year to give the team a genuine fear factor. I think with Kane Richardson back with the ball next year, the Strikers have enough to at least hold sides to chaseable scores.  
Perera Exorcises Demons
Thisara Perera would have been close to a broken man after his final over breakdown against the Hurricanes last Thursday night.  Playing only his second game for the Renegades, Perera would have been desperate to impress, however proved the villain conceding 145 from the final four balls to Stuart Broad. It was a massive game in the context of the Renegades’ season, and it put them into a precarious position heading into last night. So when Perera was once again called upon in a tight run chase, there is no doubt there would have been some negative thoughts running through his head. However, Perera held his nerve to claim four huge wickets on his way to redemption. Whilst he got lucky with the wicket of Keiron Pollard, he managed to completely bamboozle Brad Hodge with a slower ball just to secure the match defining wicket. Perera again was given the responsibility of bowling the final over with 18 required for victory and, while there were a few hairy moments, he safely secured the victory for his side. It takes courage to step up and bowl that final over and Perera didn’t shy away from it. Like I keep saying, there can be no hiding place in cricket.
Ferguson Stunner Changes Game
The Strikers finally woke the Big Bear up last night as Kieron Pollard marched in at Number 4. Pollard had been sleepwalking his way through BBL6, nudging and nicking the ball around whilst barely striking a shot in anger for his side. I’ve been calling for Pollard to come in earlier and go hell for leather, and the Strikers finally employed those tactics last night with the big man walking in at the 8th over and swinging at his first ball. It was a signal of intent, and Pollard looked the best he has all year in reaching 19 from 14 balls. It looked for all money like Pollard was about to get from 25 from 15 balls, before Callum Ferguson literally stole a 6 he pulled for a stunning boundary line catch. Pollard hit a flat tracer bullet that Ferguson plucked out of the air to change the momentum of the game. I would argue if that ball goes for six, Pollard’s confidence goes up even further and he helps win the game for the Strikers and ends the Renegades’ season. Cricket games, especially in T20, can be decided by little details and fine margins, and last night Ferguson’s catch was all that in one. 
Lurker Staying Afloat
The Lurker is just about managing to keep his head above water in 2017, and he secured back-to-back victories last night with his nemesis, the Renegades, sneaking home by 6 runs. The Lurker is now back up to batting at 66% as he goes to 18-9 as the season enters its final quarter.