Thrilling one-run win keeps Melbourne Renegades in the hunt for semi-final spot
Melbourne Renegades 199-5 (Finch 71) beat
Brisbane Heat 198 (McCullum 64) by one run
30th match, Big Bash League, Brisbane
A thrilling final over bowled by Nathan Rimmington saw two sixes and four wickets in it as Melbourne Renegades managed to defend 200 runs by just one-run against Brisbane Heat in the 30th match of Big Bash League to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.
Brisbane Heat decided to field first on winning the toss. Aaron Finch (71) started the inning with a six and a four in the first over while his opening partner Michael Harris (48) plundered two more fours in the next over.
The boundaries kept flowing as they completed the 50-run stand off just 24 deliveries and ended the powerplay at 75 for naught.
The eighth over bowled by Marnus Labuschagne (2-25) saw Finch smash three consecutive sixes to complete a 20-ball fifty and also the brought the 100-run stand with Harris. Joe Burns (0-10) dropped him in the second of the three sixes.
The 106-run opening stand finally ended when Ben Cutting (1-44) had Harris caught at backward point, two runs short of a deserving half-century.
Between overs 11 and 14, Brisbane Heat conceded just 28 runs and also picked the wicket of Finch which halted Renegades' progress a bit.
With Tom Cooper (12), Cameron White (24) and Thisara Perera (6) fell in quick succession but a 15-ball cameo from Callum Ferguson (31 not out) ensured Melborune Renegades posted 199 for five in the 20 overs.
Much like Finch, Brendon McCullum (64) started the innings with a six and a four but lost his opening partner Jimmy Peirson (1) at the other end in the second over which also saw the former New Zealand skipper scoring two more boundaries and a six.
McCullum scored the second fastest fifty, needing only 18 balls for it and he had strong support from Sam Heazlett (28) as Brisbane Heat raced to 84 for one after five overs.
The final over of the powerplay bowled by Perera (2-47) saw Renegades making a good comeback as he conceded just one run and picked the wicket of Heazlett.
From there on the Heat lost momentum and in his next 17 deliveries, McCullum scored just six runs as the required run rate climbed to 9.30 at the half way mark.
McCullum scored the first boundary after six overs but soon holed out to deep midwicket to give Perera his second wicket and in the next over, Alex Ross (16) was trapped LBW by Brad Hogg (1-18).
Cutting (35) raised the hopes of the home team with two sixes in the 16th over by the end of which Brisbane Heat needed 39 runs.
A brilliant 18th and 19th over bowled by Rimmington (2-37) and Sunil Narine (2-38) saw Renegades remove Cutting, Labuschagne (1) and Jack Wildermuth (0) leaving them to get 18 runs off the final over.
Even though Burns (35) gave a promising start by scoring two sixes after a wide bowled by Rimmington, he fell in the third ball, with Brisbane Heat needing five runs off four balls.
Rimmington continued to remain sloppy with another wide making it four to win off four balls but Buchanan's (0) run out created further problems for Heat.
When three runs were needed off the final ball, non striker Swepson (0) ran for a non existent single when the bowler had already bowled a wide and was run out, allowing Renegades to seal a one-run win. Finch was awarded the man of the match for leading from the front.
© Cricket World 2017