Renegades go top with resounding derby win
Mohammad Nabi blasted a maiden Big Bash League half-century as Melbourne Renegades kept derby rivals Melbourne Stars waiting for a first victory with a crushing six-wicket win at the MCG.
The Stars went into Saturday's clash desperate to haul themselves off the bottom of the table after losing their first three matches, but were soundly beaten by their rivals, who went top as a result.
Ben Dunk top-scored with 47 and Kevin Pietersen made 40, also picking up an ankle injury which prevented him from fielding, as the Stars could only post 157-4.
Aaron Finch (43) got the Renegades off to a flyer in their run chase and Nabi justified being sent up the order with a brisk 52.
Dwayne Bravo hit a six to seal a fourth win from five for the Renegades with 13 balls to spare, the in-form Cameron White unbeaten on 35 on another tough day for the Stars.
DEATH BOWLING TAKES LIFE OUT OF STARS
The Stars were well-placed to post a challenging total with Dunk and Pietersen at the crease, but lost their way after the foundations had been set.
Dunk struck the only six of the innings, lofting a short ball from Brad Hogg between square-leg and midwicket, and Pietersen hit six boundaries in a second-wicket stand of 71 before he was removed by Nabi (1-27).
From 89-1 with nine overs remaining, the Stars failed to press on, scoring only 39 from the last five overs as Bravo (1-31), Hogg (0-32) and Kane Richardson (1-39) kept it tight.
Glenn Maxwell hit 33 from 23 balls and Marcus Stoinis made a run-a-ball 24, but the Stars' total did not look like being enough.
FINCH HELPS HIMSELF TO BEER
Finch set the tone at the top of the order in the run chase, the skipper hitting a couple of boundaries off the first over from debutant Jackson Coleman.
It was Michael Beer who suffered most at the hands of the powerful left-hander, who took 22 from five balls in the second over of the innings as the spinner was dispatched to all parts.
That proved to be Beer's only over and although his fellow tweaker Adam Zampa bowled Finch when he looked set for a big score, the Renegades were already well on their way to victory.
STARS FEEL THE PINCH OF NABI
Nabi was sent up the order when Finch departed and that proved to be a shrewd move.
The Afghanistan all-rounder struck Zampa down the ground for back-to-back boundaries, going on to raise his bat before John Hastings (2-24) ended his entertaining knock.
Bravo finished off the job in style, easing Hastings back over his head for six after being dropped by Zampa from the previous delivery.