BBL 15/16: Renegades keep their Semi-Final hopes alive
The Melbourne Renegades kept their semi-final hopes alive in a do or die game against the Thunder in Sydney.
Having won the toss, the Thunder choose to bat first on what seemed like a track very conducive to strokeplay. Even as Jacques Kallis departed early after painstakingly reaching the score of 13, Khawaja and Watson repaid the faith of the captain scoring at a brisk pace throughout their stay at the crease. Watson particularly looked in good touch, smashing 4 sixes en route his 43-ball-62.
At 2-146 at the end of the 16th over, the Thunder looked set to score somewhere close to 200 by the end of the innings but some good death bowling by the Renegades coupled with the pitch slowing down somewhat meant that the Thunder could reach only 173 at the end of their allotted overs for the loss of 5 wickets.
Shane Watson top scored jointly along with Usman Khawaja who hit 9 fours and a six in his 42-ball knock. Bravo was impressive throughout the spell, particularly at the death as he ended with figures of 4-0-26-2.
With the pitch slowing down a bit, the chase was always going to be tricky. In response, Tom Cooper opened along with Chris Gayle on account of losing Aaron Finch to national duty. The pair got their team off to a solid start, adding 46 runs for the first wicket before Gayle bizarrely denied a single to a hoick that went as far as long-off.
He was to pay dearly as he was caught off the very next ball by Fawad Ahmed after attempting to glance McKay’s delivery over fine leg.
That bought Cameron White to the innings who began circumspectly, taking 5 deliveries to get off the mark. The duo added 25 runs for the second wicket before Cooper was cleaned up by leggie Fawad Ahmed to a ball that didn’t turn at all.
The second wicket saw Bravo being promoted up the order and the maverick West Indian repaid the faith of the management as he combined brilliantly with Cameron White to stitch a match winning 91-run stand.
Bravo hit consecutive sixes off West Indian counterpart Andre Russell to ensure that the Renegades got well within the finish line. However, 3 wickets fell in real quick time starting with that of Bravo but it turned out to be a little too late as Nevill, returning from National duty smashed Watson straight down the ground to earn a well-fought victory with 5 wickets and 4 balls to spare.
Cameron White top scored for the winning side with 61 runs. For the Thunder, old warhorse Jacques was particularly impressive, ending with figures of 3-0-11-0.
Albeit a bit surprisingly, Cameron White was adjudged the man of the match for his knock over Bravo’s all-round effort of 2-26 and 47 runs off 24 deliveries.
Brief Scores: Melbourne Renegades 176/5, 19.2 overs (White 61, Bravo 47; Russell 2/42) beat Sydney Thunder 173/5, 20 overs (Khawaja 62, Watson 62; Bravo 2/26) by five wickets.