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Agencies
January 25, 2018
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BBL: Richardson strikes to knock Thunder out

Sports

A
Agencies
January 25, 2018

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MELBOURNE: Melbourne Renegades put one foot in the Big Bash League semifinals and eliminated Sydney Thunder with a thrilling nine-run victory in a high-scoring affair at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.

Twenty sixes were hit between the two teams, the most in a single match for this tournament, including one Thunder over costing 25 and then another from the Renegades worth 28 runs for the Thunder.

Marcus Harris performed at the top of the order for the Renegades, and Beau Webster provided critical hitting in the final over of their innings to push the tally as far as 189. After losing early wickets, including the loss of Shane Watson to an outstanding catch by Kieron Pollard, it seemed the Thunder were going to fall well short, but some clean striking by Arjun Nair and particularly Ben Rohrer left the game in the balance.

Ultimately the difference was made by Kane Richardson, the outstanding bowler on either side, granting his teammates enough runs to play with the closing overs. Renegades must now wait to see if they can be overtaken in the final games, with a game still in hand.

When Rohrer was dismissed, the Thunder still needed 47 from the final five overs, and that had become 40 from 18 after Richardson concluded an immaculate spell by conceding just two runs from his final over while at the same time dismissing Aiden Blizzard and Sandhu. It was a display that underlined why he is a part of Australia’s Twenty20 squad for the looming triangular series, and left the Thunder needing another Rohrer-like burst of hitting.

For a time it seemed Chris Green might be up to the task, belting two leg side sixes off an over from the Renegades’ captain Dwayne Bravo over that ultimately cost 18, and leaving the Renegades defending 22 from the final two overs. However Chris Tremain delivered an excellent penultimate over, replacing Richardson, in which he avoided conceding a boundary and left Bravo with 13 runs to defend in the 20th over. The critical wicket fell first ball, Green skying Bravo, and from there Fawad and McCleneghan were always unlikely.

Scores: Melbourne Renegades 6 for 189 (Harris 64, Sandhu 2-37). Sydney Thunder 180 (Rohrer 48, Nair 45, Richardson 4-22).

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