BBL 15: Melbourne Renegades thrash Hobart Hurricanes after Gayle-Finch blitzkrieg
Melbourne Renegades got their second win of the season and kept their faint hopes of qualification alive thanks to an opening masterclass from Aaron Finch and Chris Gayle. Hobart Hurricanes scored a competitive 140/5 after a rocky start but it was not enough as both Renegades openers clicked.
After winning the toss, Renegades elected to field and couldn’t have hoped for a better start as the got rid of Tim Paine, Kumar Sangakkara and George Bailey inside the powerplay.
Just when it looked as though the hosts were going to crumble to their lowest total of the tournament, opener Ben Dunk and Daniel Christian provided some stability and ensured that they didn’t lose any further wickets until the 15th over.
While Dunk was providing the calm and assured presence, without looking to score too quickly, Christian, who was coming on the back of an impressive fifty from a couple of games, provided the ammunition.
Although the partnership wasn’t rapid, it provided them with a platform from which to score a decent total. When Dunk was out for 37, the hosts had moved to within 6 runs of a century with almost five overs to go.
Christian got to his fifty soon after and although he got out in the 17th over for a well-made 58, cameos from Jonathan Wells and Darren Sammy ensured that they got to 140, something which looked like a distant dream when they were struggling at 26/3 after 8 overs.
But by the end of the powerplay, Renegades had already racked up 84 runs and were well on their way to a comfortable win. Gayle initiated the onslaught as he hit Jake Reed for three boundaries in the second over and then launched into Shaun Tait, smacking for a four and two sixes in three balls.
Just when he was looking set for the fastest fifty of the tournament, he picked out a fielder in the deep, but not before he smashed 41 off just 15, a knock which included four fours and three sixes.
After Gayle's departure, Finch took over the mantle and continued his impressive BBL 15 by bringing up his third fifty in five matches. Although he was dismissed on 60, the visitors were within touching distance and only needed 22 off 58 balls.
Although they lost a few wickets towards the end, such was the magnitude of the opening onslaught that it was a question of when and not if they would win the match, which they did with six overs to spare.
Brief Scores: Hobart Hurricanes 140/5, 20 overs (Christian 58; Doherty 2/19) lost to Melbourne Renegades 144/5, 14 overs ( Finch 60; Boyce 3/34) by five wickets.