Finch returns to form in homecoming win
Hometown hero Aaron Finch returned to form to lead Melbourne Renegades to a dominant eight-wicket win over Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League.
Kardinia Park played host to BBL action for the first time and Geelong native Finch did the business in front of his friends and family, taking a stunning catch to dismiss Jason Roy before contributing 51 with the bat, his 15th BBL fifty, as the Renegades chased down 112 with 27 deliveries still in the bank.
The Sixers were restricted to 111-8 from their allocation, with Dwayne Bravo chief destroyer, as they fell to a fifth defeat from as many games this season.
Renegades skipper Finch had not posted double figures in his three previous BBL outings, so the pressure was on as the Colac native returned to familiar territory.
But the Australia international came up trumps and was into the action early as Jason Roy pummelled a delivery over his head, only for Finch to throw a hand up to parry the ball and catch it - Roy out for a scratchy five.
With a modest victory target, Finch did not let up with the bat, hitting six fours and two sixes in his 38-ball half-century before Roy gained a measure of revenge with a stunning run-out of the powerful right-hander.
Finch piled on 91 for the second wicket in a match-winning union with Cameron White, who was denied a half-century when Bravo scored the winning runs with his partner on 49 at the other end.
BRAVO'S CHAMPION PERFORMANCE
Finch took the headlines, but it was fitting that Bravo hit the winning runs after a typically complete performance.
The West Indies all-rounder took 3-29, including big-hitting England pair Roy and Sam Billings, as well as running out the Sixers' number three Nic Maddinson, who was left to rue his bat getting stuck in the turf as he attempted to retreat back into his crease.
Bravo's hamstring injury last season saw the Renegades fall out of contention, but he appears to be fighting fit once again, clattering over mid-off to seal victory.
SIXERS' SLUMP CONTINUES
The Sixers are only kept off the foot of the table by the Melbourne Stars on net run-rate and they have not got close to winning since being edged by city rivals Sydney Thunder in the opening game of the season.
Jordan Silk is the only Sixers batsman to hit a fifty in the competition so far and Steve O'Keefe's absence for the remainder of the tournament due to an ankle injury, and the impending loss of Roy and Billings to international duty, will give captain Johan Botha plenty to think about.