Melbourne Renegades 9/154 (20 Overs) Defeated by Melbourne Stars 7/200 (20 overs)
Stars Clinical In Victory
It was a big game for the Melbourne Stars and they responded in kind with a clinical 46-run victory in the Melbourne derby. After being surprise 7-run losers to the Renegades at the MCG on New Year's Day, the Stars took complete command of this game by racking up 7/200, their biggest score of BBL6 so far. Once they took the big wicket of Aaron Finch, the Stars were never in any danger, and their second win of the season gets them back to 2-2 at the halfway point of the season and right back in the final's mix. Both the Stars' spinners were excellent with the ball, with both Adam Zampa and Michael Beer claiming 3 wickets each as they turned the screws on the Renegades. It was a mixed night for the Renegades with news that Aaron Finch will be available for the rest of BBL6, dampened by a poor performance overall. The Renegades could easily have been 3-0 coming into this game, with two victories and a last ball loss to Perth courtesy of Ashton Agar's last ball 6. The Renegades are on a quick two day back up as they head to Sydney to take on the Sixers on Monday night. The Stars are back at the MCG on Tuesday night for a match against the Adelaide Strikers.
Time To End Narine Experiment
I have said it before, I don't really understand why the Renegades are opening the batting with Sunil Narine. It's just pushing their proper batsmen further down the order. If Narine is a pinch hitter, well then he didn't really understand his role last night, as he was using up balls, nudging around for singles. Like the first time they used this experiment at the MCG, Narine wasn't terrible, however his 12 from 10 balls made little sense to me. Narine might be capable of putting one or two balls into the stands, however with no First Class fifties, let alone hundreds, to his name, the move is nothing more than a gimmick and a desperate move unlikely to succeed in the short term or long. The Renegades have an explosive opener in Aaron Finch, and having Cameron White coming in at 4, and Callum Ferguson as low as 7, seems ridiculous to me. Despite their solid start to the season, the Renegades have been inconsistent with the bat, and I think they could do with another reshuffle at the top.
Stars Forced Into Reshuffle From Here
The Stars are most affected by the naming of Australia's ODI side to take on Pakistan in a 5-match series starting in Brisbane on Friday. The Stars will lose three of their starting side with Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Adam Zampa to national duty, and this is where the depth of your squad really gets tested. The Stars do gain a massive inclusion with Peter Handscomb coming back from Test duty in outstanding form. You would think Handscomb would slot straight into Number 4 as a direct replacement for Glenn Maxwell. Marcus Stoinis was dropped last night after a quiet start to BBL6, however you would think he will get the chance to reestablish himself in the side as a direct replacement for James Faulkner. The interesting change the Stars could make is bringing young Sydney based leg spinner Devlin Malone in to replace Adam Zampa. Malone has some wraps on him and is a similar style of bowler to Zampa. The Stars have excelled in the absence of their Australian players in past campaigns however they really missed them come finals time.
Renegades Lose But Get Timely Boost
Aaron Finch paid the price for a lean twelve months after being dropped by the national selectors for Australia's 5-Match ODI series against Pakistan. Finch had not scored a century since January 2016, and made only average scores in the mid-20s from his last 17 games. His loss is the Renegades gain, as they get to keep their explosive captain for the duration of BBL6. The Renegades don't lose anyone to national duty so, despite being 2-2, are in with an outstanding chance of building momentum into the finals. Despite a poor performance last night, I can still see this team sneaking into the finals, and if they are coming up against under-strength sides, you would have to give them a chance.
Lurker Back Somewhere Near his Best
The Lurker has rebounded from a tough start to 2017 with back-to-back victories to elevate himself to an imposing 14-5. The Lurker cruised to an easy double last night, with Kevin Pietersen comfortably scoring 25+ runs into a Stars' win. Can The Lurker secure a third straight victory tonight to get to 15-5 as the Hurricanes host the Thunder?