The Big Bear guides the Melbourne Stars to victory
Date : 06-01-2014
4th January 2014
Ravi Wickramaratne & Navneet Ganesh
The Melbourne Stars were too good for their cross-town rivals – the Melbourne Renegades - registering an emphatic 9 wicket drubbing under a closed roof at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The Stars went into this game at the top of the table with the Renegades risking a top 5 spot if they were to lose this game.
After winning the toss, Renegades’ skipper Aaron Finch chose to bat and set a total that gave his attack comprising returning Victorian quick James Pattinson & co. something to bowl at.
First over saw Sri Lankan import Lasith Malinga take the new pill for the Stars but he failed to deliver. Shortly after in the 2nd over, Tasmanian Jackson Bird picked up the vital wickets of Michael Hill and Jos Butler who were both given out LBW. The Renegades were reduced to 3/17 in the 2nd over, which brought about a conservative period of play by the batsmen.
Despite that early set-back, Finch powered the Renegades to 163 on the back of his unbeaten 84 off just 55 deliveries. He was particularly brutal in his onslaught on Clint McKay smashing him for 30 runs in the 16 balls he faced from him. He was supported well by Tom Cooper, who plays for South Australia but has also represented the Netherlands. Cooper made 60 off 44 balls and McKay finished with unflattering figures of 0/50 off his four overs.
The duo counterattacked the Stars superbly by smashing 8 sixes and 7 fours between them to put on a fourth wicket partnership of 102 which rescued the Renegades entirely.
The Big Bear Cameron White opened the innings for the Stars with Luke Wright the English import. While Wright was dismissed for 17 attempting to clear long-on – Maxwell joined the Bear and the pair quickly took the game away from the Renegades.
It didn’t help that the Renegades were scrappy in the field, dropping White twice within the first six overs. He then made them pay striking a 49-ball 84 and also bringing up his 24th T20 fifty in the process.
Going into this game unbeaten and high in confidence, the Stars’ batsmen put on a nonchalant display. Million-dollar Maxwell and Cameron White combined an unbeaten stand of 98 runs in just 50 balls and ultimately brought the Stars home with 4 overs remaining.
All Renegades bowlers that were given the ball were expensive and in particular Aaron Obrien who leaked 26 runs in the 13th over of the innings. Maxwell struck the winning runs for the Stars with an outside edge that went for a boundary.
The Big Bash League in its third season has been getting tremendous viewership after the Ten Network commenced telecasting it on free-to-air for the first time. This season started off strongly with over 1.1 million viewers tuning in to watch the Melbourne & Sydney Derbys.
‘Bums on seats’ have been the Cricket Australia mantra for the BBL and the fans too have been pouring in. This match saw a very healthy attendance of 42837. And why wouldn’t the fans want to come?
A total of 19 sixes were smashed into the Melbourne crowd giving them plenty of entertainment - however the night belonged to the Stars.
Next up the Stars face the Adelaide Strikers on Thursday while the Renegades are given a 10 day break and take on the Sydney Thunder on the 14th of January.
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