Bravo, Renegades fail

What a game! Agar belts match-winning six off the last ball as Renegades are made to sweat over Bravo’s diagnosis.

Needing nine runs for victory off the final over from Renegades captain Aaron Finch, the Scorchers lost wickets in consecutive balls before left-hander Ashton Agar became the hero in a thrilling conclusion. With three runs required off the last delivery, Agar clubbed a full toss from Finch over the deep mid-wicket boundary to send the Scorchers’ fans into raptures.

Dwayne Bravo of the Melbourne Renegades is taken from the ground on a stretcher after injuring himself in the field at Etihad Stadium.

How significant will this be? Renegades import Dwayne Bravo suffered a left hamstring injury in the match. The West Indian allrounder was stationed on the boundary on the off-side when he made a desperate dive to prevent a cut shot from the Scorchers’ Michael Klinger from going for four. Bravo’s talent is not in question after he hammered 201 runs at 50.25 in BBL|05, he is set to have scans on Friday.

Last season, Klinger combined with Shaun Marsh as the Scorchers crushed the Renegades by 10 wickets. He again took centre stage in this fixture, punching out 72 from 55 balls at a strike rate of 130.91 as his team enjoyed a nail-biting away victory. The 36-year-old has an insatiable appetite for runs and is the most prolific batsman in the history of the BBL with 1427 runs, including one ton and 10 half-centuries.

The Renegades were cruising at 2-106 after 13 overs before the Scorchers grabbed six wickets in the last seven overs to restrict their opponents to 8-148. It was a mighty performance from Perth, with David Willey (2-15), Ashton Turner (2-25), Mitch Marsh (1-29) and Andrew Tye (1-33) turning the screws though the middle of the innings.

The Scorchers have been the most successful team in the history of the KFC Big Bash League – winning titles in 2013-14 and 2014-15 – on the back of their proficiency with the ball. Despite having Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Joel Paris sidelined because of injury, the Scorchers’ bowlers continue to do the job. It is difficult to predict what the bowling line-up would be if they were at full strength but, in what is shaping as an even title race, their ability to restrict teams at the death could prove decisive.

Former Test paceman Mitchell Johnson was rested for the Scorchers’ clash against the Sydney Sixers and he was greeted with two boundaries from Finch in his first over and went on to leak 11 runs. The left-armer did not return to the bowling crease until the 11th over of the innings before rebounding to finish with 1-31 from four overs and helping limit his team’s run chase.

The Renegades will tackle rival Melbourne Stars in front of a packed house at the MCG on New Year’s Day, while the Scorchers will meet winless defending champions Sydney Thunder in Perth as part of a double header. 

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