The Brisbane Heat missed out on a place in the Big Bash League finals after a seven-wicket defeat to the Melbourne Renegades on Monday.

Aaron Finch led a cool and commanding chase, his 63 not out leading the Renegades to 155-3 after the Heat had set a target of 155 at Docklands.

Only a win would have been enough to secure a play-off place for Darren Lehmann's side, but they failed to make the most of chances in the field, meaning the Sydney Thunder take the fifth and final spot.

With AB de Villiers (six) failing to fire after another top-order collapse, questions will likely be asked about Lehmann's future after a disappointing end to a hugely underwhelming season.

RENSHAW LEADS RESISTANCE AFTER HEAT GO OFF THE BOIL 

The Heat were 1-35 after just 21 balls as they endured another miserable start after winning the bat flip. 

Sam Heazlett's wild slice gave Finch an easy catch, and Ben Cutting, perhaps over-confident after four early boundaries that included two sixes off Will Sutherland (3-30), was lost lbw when teeing up for another big swing. 

De Villiers went to sweep Samit Patel (1-23) only for the ball to cannon off the back leg and into the stumps, and when Chris Lynn was bowled by Nabi (1-23) for the loss of just 14, the Heat's troubles were mounting. 

Renshaw and Marnus Labuschagne began the rebuilding job, the latter digging deep for 28 off 26 deliveries before Jack Wildermuth caught him trying to clear the ropes from Cameron Boyce (1-29). 

Renshaw remained a beacon of resistance, his unbeaten 65 helping the Heat amass a respectable target before he was run out in the final over.

FINCH KEEPS COOL AFTER COOPER TANTRUM

Tom Cooper and Finch made an encouraging start to the chase before the former sent a delivery from Cutting (2-35) to the grateful grasp of Jack Prestwidge at deep midwicket, leaving Cooper visibly fuming as he headed back to the dugout.

The Renegades were 2-44 when Daniel Christian was caught superbly by Renshaw and, when Beau Webster was bowled full and straight by Cutting after making 14, Heat hopes were beginning to rise. 

Finch, though, refused to panic. Australia's Twenty20 and ODI captain showed few signs of wilting in the Heat onslaught, with Nabi's four boundaries helping to keep the pressure off his skipper. 

Prestwidge allowed a Finch drive to slide through his fingers as the Heat found their season slipping away, another mistake on the rope helping Finch bring up his half-century. 

Six more over deep backward square and a drive wide of cover signalled the death knell to the Heat's play-off ambitions and gave the Renegades something to smile about at the end of a difficult season.

Steve Smith helped the Sydney Sixers to a seven-wicket win over the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League on Saturday.

Aaron Finch (109 off 68 balls) had led the struggling Renegades to 175-5 from their 20 overs at the SCG.

But after Josh Philippe's 61, Smith ensured the Sixers moved back into second in the table.

The Australia star made an unbeaten 66 off 40 balls as the Sixers reached their target with eight balls to spare.

 

FINCH PUNISHES SIXERS

Finch gave the Sixers chances when he was on 39 and 40, dropped by Jordan Silk and Philippe.

Another chance went begging when Finch was on 62, dropped by Ben Dwarshuis – who would face further punishment.

Bowling the next over, Dwarshuis was taken for 22 runs by Finch, including a six and three fours.

Finch went on to notch his eighth T20 century to guide the Renegades to what looked like a competitive total.

VINCE UNLUCKY

James Vince and Philippe helped the Sixers make a fine start to their chase, reaching 49 without loss after five overs.

But Vince's unfortunate dismissal would slow the Sixers down.

Will Sutherland dropped a return catch off Philippe, but the ball ricocheted onto the stumps at the non-striker's end, running Vince out for 22 off 13.

SMITH STEPS UP

That allowed Smith to take over.

A reverse sweep for four from Smith off Mohammad Nabi (1-27) in the 15th over helped the Sixers need 45 off the final five overs.

Smith almost went in the next over, with Nathan McSweeney producing a brilliant piece of fielding on the boundary, catching the ball as it was flying for six, but throwing it back as he fell over the rope.

But that would be the Renegades' last chance as Smith took control to lead the Sixers to victory.

Matthew Wade's rapid 66 and a superb knock from Macalister Wright set the stage for Hobart Hurricanes to edge out Melbourne Renegades in a thrilling Big Bash League encounter.

Needing a win to keep their slim hopes of a finals place alive, the Hurricanes were put into bat by their hosts at the Marvel Stadium in Tuesday's bottom-of-the-table clash.

But Hobart captain Wade immediately set about punishing the Renegades for that decision, smashing his way to 50 in just 22 deliveries before succumbing in the eighth over when he sliced to third man.

Wright, however, more than picked up the slack as the visitors kept up the pace, though Mohammad Nabi dismissed Jake Doran (4) before Cameron Boyce found the edge of David Miller's bat.

A full toss from Daniel Christian allowed Wright to surpass a half-century, with the batsman - ably supported by Ben McDermott (38) - finishing on 70 from 50 balls as the Renegades were set a target of 191.

Wade's Australia team-mate Marcus Harris had far less success as he went in the second over of Melbourne's innings, prior to the Renegades losing Sam Harper to a head injury.

Beau Webster (50) and Nabi (63) gave Melbourne hope with some huge shots late on but, with the home side requiring 12 to win from nine deliveries, the latter picked out Wright at deep midwicket after hitting two successive sixes.

Webster's mishit from a full toss dashed Melbourne's hopes further, with Nathan Ellis bouncing back from an expensive previous over to ensure the win.

HARPER BECOMES FIRST CONCUSSION SUB IN BBL

With Wade and Wright having done the business for the Hurricanes, the Renegades were dealt a huge blow when Harper was forced off in the fourth over.

The wicketkeeper - who suffered a severe concussion in a 2017 when Jake Lehmann accidentally struck him in the helmet with his bat - sustained a hefty blow to the head when he clattered into Ellis while scampering for a run.

Dr Trefor James and team physio Nick Adock were swiftly on the scene and, though Harper appeared to try and shake off their concerns, he was clearly unsteady on his feet and was subsequently taken off, with Tom Cooper his replacement.

Harper was then assessed in the changing rooms, before being taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.

ELLIS HOLDS HIS NERVE

Nabi and Webster struck a combined 20 off of Ellis' penultimate over, taking the Renegades to within touching distance of victory.

But with Clive Rose having ended Nabi's impressive stand, Ellis regained his composure in a crucial final over, luring Webster into a poor shot before sealing the win with an exceptional dot ball under pressure on the fifth delivery.

It left the Renegades needing a six off the final ball to force a Super Over, but a fine yorker from Ellis ensured the win went to Hobart.

"What a finish, great finish from Nathan," player of the match Wright said. "It was a really good game."

An extraordinary batting collapse saw Brisbane Heat crash to a 44-run defeat against Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.

Chasing 165 to win at the Gabba, the Heat made a flying start and were 84-0 in the sixth over, taking full advantage of the powerplay.

However, a batting slump of bewildering proportions saw them lose 10 wickets for 36 runs to be all out for 120, with leg-spinner Cameron Boyce taking 4-15 in his four overs.

It was the worst 10-wicket collapse in Big Bash history, league officials said.

The Heat middle and lower order owed an apology to openers Sam Heazlett and Chris Lynn, who showed sizzling form. Heazlett made 56 from 37 balls, and captain Lynn was destructive as he rattled to 41 from 15 deliveries.

Marcus Harris took a fine catch on the run, just in from the ropes, to remove Lynn, who had struck three sixes in his whirlwind knock.

Brisbane still looked set to win with several overs to spare, but an hour of largely self-inflicted carnage was just getting under way.

AB de Villiers was bowled two balls later, charmed out by a fine leg break from Boyce, and when the same bowler had Matt Renshaw caught at slip from the next ball, it was the first real sign that something was stirring.

The Heat rebuilt and at 113-3, with Heazlett and Joe Burns at the crease, they looked to have seen off the storm.

It was at that point a tempest swept in, Samit Patel removing Heazlett and Jimmy Peirson with consecutive deliveries in the 13th over. Burns was run out two balls later, sent back by batting partner Ben Cutting and falling way short of his ground.

Cutting and Josh Lalor fell in the space of three balls to Dan Christian, before Boyce stepped in to complete the onslaught. Seven wickets fell for seven runs in the wild finale.

The Renegades have put up an awful title defence, losing nine in a row until finally registering a victory in their last match when scoring a Duckworth-Lewis-Stern success against the Sydney Thunder.

This was a second victory of their lamentable season, and one to savour.

Boyce said on BT Sport: "I think we were all a bit nervous after the start. That was pretty clean striking there [by Lynn and Heazlett], so it obviously needed something pretty special.

"But after the powerplay I thought we bowled pretty well as a unit. Our season hasn't gone the way we wanted it to, but we do feel we've been close in about six or seven of our games.

"It's just been one of those years. I said last week it would be nice to repay our fans a little bit.

"We've got to take a lot of momentum and confidence out of the game. They got away in those first six but we pegged them back really nicely. Hopefully we can finish the season with a couple of wins."

The Renegades earlier reached a competitive total when Mohammad Nabi and Patel lifted them from 131-6 after the 18th over to 164-6 at the end of their innings.

Beau Webster made 36 and Shaun Marsh 27, but it was Nabi's quickfire 22 and Patel's 23 from 10 balls that put pressure on Brisbane, although nobody could have envisaged the drama to come.

Melbourne Renegades' long wait for a first win of the Big Bash League season finally came to an end on Wednesday.

The Renegades beat Sydney Thunder by 12 runs under the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method in a rain-affected clash in Canberra to end their nine-match losing streak in convincing fashion.

Sam Harper (52 off 38 balls) and Shaun Marsh (47 from 34) starred with the bat as the defending champions posted 172-4, with Mohammad Nabi and captain Dan Christian's late big hitting bolstering the total.

Sydney were behind the rate when the weather closed in, returning with a revised total of 135 off 14 overs and coming up short on 122-7 despite the best efforts of Alex Ross (51 off 27), as Christian proved the Renegades' saviour with the ball.

RENEGADES MAKE A STATEMENT

With such a miserable run of form weighing on them, Melbourne needed to post a challenging target.

Opener Marsh certainly got the memo, his 34-ball knock including six fours and a maximum, while Harper also got on the front foot to boost the holders.

Still, the late cameos of Nabi (11 off 3) and Christian (21 off 12) were key, with the Renegades on a modest 125-3 at the end of the 17th over.

A strong finish saw them put up another 47 runs in the final three overs, Nabi thrashing the last ball for six.

 

ROSS CUTS LOOSE BEFORE CHRISTIAN FIGHTS BACK

The revised target was a tough ask for the Thunder, who initially made precious little headway in pursuit.

That was until Ross thrashed 26 balls of one Nabi over to haul his side back into the contest.

But all-rounder Christian came to the fore in the next over, in which he took two wickets – including that of danger man Ross – for just five runs.

There were no late fireworks as the Thunder, who sit sixth, finished on 122-7.

Jonathan Wells and Matthew Short put on a big partnership before Peter Siddle led the way with the ball as the Adelaide Strikers hammered the sorry Melbourne Renegades by 63 runs.

The Strikers scored 66 from the final five overs after a sedate start, with Wells (58 off 38) and Short (41 off 28) combining for 80 runs to help set a competitive total of 173-6 at the Adelaide Oval.

It was a score the Renegades, Big Bash League champions last season, never got near with only Beau Webster (49) and Shaun Marsh (21) making double figures in a risible chase.

Siddle (3-14) was chief protagonist, while Travis Head (2-26) - playing his first BBL game of the season - did early damage and Rashid Khan (2-19) also played an influential role in bowling the visitors out for 110.

The Strikers move third in the table, while the Renegades are 0-9 in an awful defence of their title.


WELLS AND SHORT STEP UP

Phil Salt (18), Jake Weatherald (27) and Head (22) all failed to build on starts and the Strikers were 81-4 when Harry Nielsen (4) trudged back in the 11th over.

But Wells upped the ante, with his knock including five fours and a six, while Short slogged three straight over the ropes in his innings.

It was a partnership that boosted the Strikers at the right time, with each member of the Renegades attack taking a wicket bar Dan Christian.


SIDDLE SINKS RENEGADES

The Renegades were up against it right from the off, with Head sweeping up Marcus Harris (4) in the very first over.

The sensational Siddle cleared up Sam Harper (5) from his first set of six and Marsh's promise was ended by the dangerous Head.

Rashid kept things tight and earned his reward with the wicket of Mohammad Nabi (6) before also ending the valiant resistance of Webster, who clobbered 49 off 33.

Siddle then accounted for Samit Patel (8) and Christian (2), with the rest of the Renegades tail unable to stop the rot.

Glenn Maxwell's masterclass guided the Melbourne Stars to a seven-wicket victory over the winless Melbourne Renegades in Friday's Big Bash League derby.

The gifted all-rounder, nicknamed the 'Big Show', made an unbeaten 83 off only 45 balls at Marvel Stadium as the table-topping Stars chased down a target of 169 with eight balls to spare.

Such an outcome looked unlikely when the Stars needed 60 off the final five overs, with defending champions the Renegades scenting an opportunity to break their duck at the eighth attempt.

But Maxwell smashed his second consecutive half-century to put his side two points clear of the Sydney Sixers and give another nudge to the Australia selectors after being omitted for the ODI series in India.

Shaun Marsh earlier made a 43-ball 63 but the beleaguered Renegades lost four wickets for just 22 runs in their final four overs and a total of 168-7 was not enough.


RAUF AND COULTER-NILE STOP GADES IN THEIR TRACKS

Marsh needed a new bat after a ferocious delivery from Lance Morris snapped his blade in two, but he flanked the Gades' innings in a knock that included seven fours and two sixes.

The Gades were well placed at 146-3 through 16 overs, only to have their momentum stemmed.

Nathan Coulter-Nile (2-29) ensured Tom Cooper (15) could not build on a start and sent Sam Harper back for a golden duck, while Haris Rauf conceded just eight runs from his final two overs and accounted for Dan Christian (12).


MARVELLOUS MAXWELL SHINES FOR STARS

The Renegades made a poor start when Marcus Stoinis – the BBL's top run-scorer this season – holed out to long-off off Samit Patel for a three-ball duck.

Hilton Cartwright (35) was stopped in his tracks by Cameron Boyce and the Stars were facing a tall order to get over the finishing line.

But Maxwell kept his cool before finishing with a flourish, hitting a couple of huge sixes off Joe Mennie and Boyce before giving Richard Gleeson the treatment from consecutive deliveries in the 18th over.

A 91-metre six off Christian preceded another whack beyond the ropes over deep square leg to seal victory in style, having cleared the rope seven times in a swashbuckling innings.

Big Bash League champions Melbourne Renegades were unable to defend 175 and clinch their first win of the season as Perth Scorchers claimed a six-wicket success.

Despite Jhye Richardson (3-22) removing Aaron Finch for a golden duck, Sam Harper (73) and Beau Webster (59 not out) had put Melbourne (175-5) in a strong position to finally deliver a maiden victory at the seventh time of asking.

Yet Perth openers Josh Inglis (51) and Liam Livingstone (59) shared a century stand to leave the Scorchers firmly in charge at the halfway point of their chase.

Cameron Bancroft then hit the winning runs as Perth (178-4) got home with an over to spare.

FINCH FLOUNDERS BEFORE MARSH WINS BATTLE OF THE BROTHERS

There was no captain's innings from Finch, who skied a bouncer from Richardson to Cameron Green from his very first ball to leave Melbourne 1-1.

Richardson took the wicket of Australia Test batsman Marcus Harris (14) in the powerplay and the Renegades were struggling at 48-3 as Mitchell Marsh got one over on his brother, Shaun.

The older Marsh was on just two when he swiped his brother to the leg-side fence, where Livingstone was on hand to ensure Mitchell got the family bragging rights.

RENEGADES REBUILD THROUGH HARPER AND WEBSTER

The failings of the Renegades' top order did not lead to a collapse, though, as half-centurions Harper and Webster gave them a good total.

Harper might have been out before he reached 50, but the ball slipped through the normally reliable Chris Jordan's hands on the ropes for a six that brought up the milestone.

He was eventually dismissed when Ashton Agar hung on to another chance in the deep but Webster's unbeaten half-century, which included four sixes and three boundaries, raised the prospects of a first Renegades victory.

 

LIVI DAZZLES DESPITE BOX-CLATTERING DELIVERIES

Perth's opening partnership effectively put paid to Melbourne's hopes, though, as Inglis and Livingstone compiled 102 in the first half of the Scorchers' innings.

Livingstone was able to lead the way despite twice copping painful-looking deliveries between his legs – the 26-year-old letting out audible groans on both occasions – and one of his four maximums travelled a whopping 97 metres.

Inglis upped the ante when his fellow opener chipped Richard Gleeson (3-30) straight to Finch, reaching his half century in 31 deliveries, two balls fewer than Livingstone, before falling caught-and-bowled to Kane Richardson.

Two sixes from Tim David (16) brought the total closer and Bancroft (20 not out) sealed the Scorchers' third win of the season.

The Melbourne Stars avenged their 2019 Big Bash final defeat to the Melbourne Renegades with a thumping victory at the MCG that was inspired by a moment of magic in the field.

An eight-wicket trouncing in front of a crowd of 54,478 on Saturday reflected the changing fortunes of these teams since they met at nearby Docklands Stadium in the title match 11 months ago.

Michael Klinger's Renegades have gone into reverse gear this season and this was a sixth straight defeat for the defending champions, who are proving to be a shadow of the side led by Andrew McDonald last season.

The Stars have soared to the top of the table with five wins in six games for David Hussey's side, who scythed down the Renegades from 117-2 to their eventual 142-9 total.

Shaun Marsh and Beau Webster looked like lifting the Renegades to a substantial total as their third-wicket partnership reached 62.

Yet Marsh's dismissal for 43 to a brilliant boundary catch, Ben Dunk tossing the ball back to Nathan Coulter-Nile, off Sandeep Lamichhane's leg spin triggered a collapse, with Dan Christian stumped for a golden duck and Webster also soon back in the dressing room.

Marcus Stoinis anchored the Stars response with an unbeaten 68 from the top of the order to becoming the leading scorer in the competition, with skipper Glenn Maxwell plundering a snappy 40 not out as the Renegades attack sorely lacked bite.

James Vince made a big impact on his return as the in-form Sydney Sixers denied Melbourne Renegades a first Big Bash League victory with a six-wicket win on Thursday.

A new year did not bring about a change of fortune for defending champions the Renegades, who paid the price for a lack of runs at Marvel Stadium.

Lloyd Pope (2-22) and Jackson Bird (2-24) excelled with the ball to restrict the Renegades to 153-6 after they were 69-1 in the eight over, Sam Harper top scoring with 45 off only 24 balls and Shaun Marsh making 40.

The Sixers followed up their dramatic Sydney Smash Super Over triumph by extending their winning run to three matches, Tom Curran hitting the winning run off the penultimate ball of the match.

Vince struck 41 from just 26 deliveries on his return from an elbow injury, while Dan Hughes (40) and Jordan Silk (36 not out) also made significant contributions as the Sixers moved up to second place despite the absence of Sean Abbott (side strain).

 

POPE PREYS ON RENEGADES FLAWS

The Renegades were going along nicely on 65-1 after seven overs when Pope came into the attack and the spinner put the squeeze on to frustrate the champions.

Pope removed Harris with a googly in his second over, which cost only four runs, and the flame-haired tweaker trapped Beau Webster (17) lbw in his final over to put the Renegades on the back foot.

Dan Christian (32no from 17) set about the expensive Curran, who went for 58 from his four overs, but Melbourne were well short of a daunting total.

 

PHILIPPE AND HUGHES GET SIXERS OFF TO FLYER

Josh Philippe made a statement by clattering the first ball of the run chase from Webster for six and had a stroke of luck when he was dropped by Christian.

The impressive Tom Andrews somehow cleaned up Philippe (33) with a first ball that should have been hammered into the crowd, but not before the wicketkeeper-batsman and Hughes had put on 70 for the first wicket.

Cameron Boyce and Andrews (2-22) gave the Renegades hope by dismissing Hughes and Moises Henriques respectively to leave the Sixers 80-3 in the 12th.

 

VINCE AND SILK DELIVER WITH DECISIVE STAND

The Sixers needed 54 from the last six overs after Boyce conceded only six runs off the 14th, but Vince and Silk chipped away at the target with a fourth-wicket stand of 57.

Vince launched a leg break from Boyce for six, but was bowled nine short of a half-century attempting to put the next ball in the same spot.

Silk passed 1,000 Big Bash runs and dispatched the otherwise-economical Kane Richardson over extra cover for six in the penultimate over, then struck the second delivery of the final over from Richard Gleeson over the rope, leaving Curran to hit the winning run with a ball to spare.

Rashid Khan starred as Adelaide Strikers continued Melbourne Renegades' Big Bash League misery with an 18-run win at Docklands Stadium.

The Renegades have now lost four out of four in this season's competition, with their chase of the Strikers' 155-6 decisively compromised by losing three wickets – including two run outs – in the 13th over.

Rashid sharply threw down Aaron Finch's stumps from backward point to start the mini-collapse from the delivery after Australia's limited overs captain reached 50.

The Afghanistan leg-spinner had already bowled the experienced Shaun Marsh for 16 and accounted for Will Sutherland with a wonderful googly.

Rashid's figures of 2-15 from his four overs should have been even more handsome, with Beau Webster given an unusual lbw reprieve.

Webster (37 not out) set himself up for the big finish but excellent death bowling from Wes Agar (2-20) and Cameron Valente (2-36) finished the job.

Adelaide got off to a flyer, thanks almost entirely to Phil Salt's blistering 54 off 26 deliveries – Renegades paceman Richard Gleeson shipping some brutal punishment.

Cameron Boyce held a return catch to end Salt's fun and returned economical figures of 2-18.

Dan Christian (0-17) also put the squeeze on but was the second ambling run out in the Renegade's nightmare over, which also saw Marcus Harris flick an awful shot off Agar straight to deep square leg.

Kane Richardson, the pick of the Adelaide attack with 4-33, was the last man out in their 137-8 as Salt concluded a fine outing by catching him at long-off to give Valente his second wicket.

Scratch leaves Renegades in with a sniff

Webster was not alone in failing to pick the mercurial Rashid effectively and he was hit on the pad to prompt a loud appeal. The Adelaide players joined their star spinner in celebration as Greg Davidson raised his hand. However, the umpire proceeded to scratch his nose in an exaggerated manner and not raise his finger, meaning Rashid's joy turned to confusion.

Hawkeye showed the ball would have crashed into leg stump. Davidson later explained he changed his decision at the last moment, adjudging Webster to have got an inside edge.

Salt piles misery on Gleeson

Gleeson came into the match with a BBL economy rate of 10.6 and the Lancashire seamer's struggles continued at the hands of Salt. He could count himself unfortunate to an extent, as one of Salt's five fours from his second over was a thick outside edge past the wicketkeeper, but it was a punishing and decisive passage in a game where runs were otherwise hard-earned.

Siddle earns warm ovation

It was an emotional day for experienced seamer Peter Siddle, who announced his retirement from international cricket. Although he went wicketless in his four overs, Siddle could celebrate undefeated Adelaide moving to the top of the BBL standings.

Defending Big Bash League champions Melbourne Renegades crashed to a third consecutive defeat to start the season following a crushing loss to Hobart Hurricanes.

The Renegades' horror start to their BBL title defence continued on Tuesday – beaten by seven wickets at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.

Melbourne lost 8-38 as they were bowled out for 147 before Hobart – led by D'Arcy Short and Ben McDermott – chased down the total with five balls to spare on Christmas Eve.

The Renegades slumped to 0-3 following the devastating defeat, while the Hurricanes improved to 2-1.

 

RENEGADES IN A HOLE AFTER COLLAPSE

With Aaron Finch at the crease, the Renegades were looking comfortable in their pursuit of win number one this season.

After Sam Harper was dismissed for a duck and Shaun Marsh scored 37, Renegades captain Finch hit 50 off 36 balls to have the titleholders 109-2.

Then it turned sour for the Renegades. Finch chipped a shot to mid-wicket, sparking a stunning collapse against the Hurricanes.

The Renegades lost their final seven wickets in 23 balls – James Faulkner (3-26 from 3.1 overs), Nathan Ellis (3-15 from three overs), Riley Meredith (3-26 from four overs) and Qais Ahmad (1-23 from four overs) enjoying the ball.

 

SHORT AND MCDERMOTT STEER HURRICANES

The Renegades' capitulation opened the door for the Hurricanes, and Short and McDermott took full advantage.

Short set the tone after opener Simon Milenko and Caleb Jewell departed in the same Tom Cooper (2-32) over, hitting seven boundaries and a six for a 45-ball 60 in Hobart.

While he was trapped lbw by Cameron Boyce (1-20 from four overs), captain McDermott (51 not out) and David Miller (25 not out) sealed the win and heaped further misery on the Renegades.

 

MILLER SHOWS HIS POWER

There are big sixes and then there are big sixes.

South African import Miller sent a Harry Gurney delivery out of the ground in the 17th over to cap a miserable day for the visiting Renegades.

Perth Scorchers recorded their first win in the 2019-20 Big Bash League on Saturday, coming out on top in a high-scoring game with Melbourne Renegades on Saturday.

Mitchell Marsh hammered 56 from 22 balls as he prevailed in the family battle against brother Shaun, who made 55 against his former team in a Renegades run chase that came up short in the final reckoning.

Cameron Bancroft also hit a half-century for Perth to help them post 196-7, though Melbourne were in a promising position when they started the 17th over on 156-3.

However, they lost three wickets in a hurry - including the dismissal of Dan Christian to a stunning catch in the deep by Chris Jordan - as the Scorchers eventually triumphed by 11 runs.

Ben Webster finished up unbeaten on 67 from 37 deliveries yet it was the hosts who were celebrating in the end at Perth Stadium, as they left the reigning champions without a victory two games in to their title defence.

 

KANE STARS BUT RENEGADES STRUGGLE

Perth made a mess of batting first in their opener against Sydney Sixers, when they were bowled out for 131, but prospered this time around after losing the toss.

Liam Livingstone made 29 before falling to Lancashire team-mate Richard Gleeson, while Bancroft's 50 - along with 36 from Ashton Turner - set up Mitchell Marsh for an impressive late onslaught.

The all-rounder launched six sixes as the Melbourne attack toiled bar Kane Richardson, who made sure Perth's final total remained under 200 by returning impressive figures of 4-22.

His economical four-over spell included 11 dot balls, while he also held on to a sharp return catch to dismiss Ashton Agar.

 

SIBLING RIVALRY SPARKS EXCITEMENT

The crowd relished the opportunity to watch the Marsh brothers go up against each other in Melbourne's innings, with Mitchell getting the chance to bowl at his older sibling.

Having decided as captain to bring himself on for the seventh over, Mitchell even had to abort his first attempt at a run-up to increase the tension, leading to a wry smile from the bowler.

However, the head-to-head battle fell a little flat, Shaun managing two singles from the pair of deliveries he faced during Mitchell's two-over spell.

 

'AIR JORDAN' DOES IT AGAIN

Shaun Marsh and Webster's 92-run stand had the Renegades right in the contest, only for the game to turn crucially in the Scorchers' favour in the 18th over.

The excellent Fawad Ahmed (2-22) finished his work with the ball by taking two crucial wickets, starting with the leg-spinner tempting Marsh to hit straight to Jordan in the deep.

However, while that chance was straightforward, Jordan produced a sensational grab later in the same over to send back Christian. Having made ground to his right from his position at long on, the England international produced a full-length dive - with both feet off the ground - to cling on to the opportunity.

Alex Hales and Usman Khawaja made rapid half-centuries as Sydney Thunder beat defending champions Melbourne Renegades by six wickets at GMHBA Stadium.

The Thunder beat the much-fancied Brisbane Heat in the opening match of the tournament on Tuesday and they were too good for the Renegades in Geelong.

New signing Shaun Marsh top scored with 42 before he was brilliantly caught by Daniel Sams, who also took 2-26, as Melbourne posted 169-5 after winning the toss.

Arjun Nair claimed 2-32 to restrict the Renegades in their first match with Michael Klinger as coach and the Thunder reached their target with two balls to spare.

Hales (68 from 38 balls) and Khawaja (66 off 46) put on 99 for the first wicket to set Sydney well on their way to victory, which was secured despite impressive displays with the ball from Harry Gurney (2-26) and the wicketless Kane Richardson (0-18).

 

MARSH MAKES HIS MARK BEFORE SAMS STUNNER

Big things are expected of Marsh after he left Perth Scorchers to join the holders in a multi-year deal.

The experienced left-hander looked in great touch in his first outing for his new side, striking a six and finding the ropes five times, but he was on his way when Sams produced a stunning catch on the deep midwicket boundary to give Nair a second wicket.

Sam Harper and Aaron Finch got Melbourne off to a flyer with an opening stand of 55 from five overs, but Nair dismissed the captain after the excellent Sams saw the back of wicketkeeper-batsman Harper.

 

KHAWAJA AND HALES PUT THUNDER WELL ON COURSE

Sydney restricted the Renegades to 80 runs off their last 10 overs thanks to some disciplined bowling and it was clear the champions' total was insufficient as Khawaja and Hales piled on the runs.

The openers took the Thunder to 74 without loss at the halfway mark of the run chase, with Khawaja having much more of the strike, slog-sweeping Cameron Boyce for six and striking eight fours before falling to Gurney.

Hales took centre stage with Khawaja gone, the powerful right-hander clattering Boyce and Dan Christian into the stands prior to departing when he struck Nottinghamshire team-mate Gurney to Richardson at deep midwicket.

 

SLOPPY RENEGADES MADE TO PAY

As good as Khawaja and man-of-the-match Hales were with the bat, the Renegades did not do themselves any favours.

Skipper Finch was among those guilty of gifting the Thunder boundaries with sloppy fielding.

Alex Ross sealed victory with a fierce straight drive off the final over from Melbourne new boy Richard Gleeson, who snared Callum Ferguson lbw and ran Matt Gilkes out on debut.

Steve Smith will make a long-awaited Big Bash League return and AB de Villiers should ignite the Brisbane Heat in a shortened tournament with a new finals format.

Smith, the best Test batsman in the world, will feature in the competition for the first time since 2014 after rejoining the Sydney Sixers.

Maverick former South Africa batsman De Villiers will make his BBL debut for a Heat side who have been installed as bookmakers' favourites, with former Australia boss Darren Lehmann returning as head coach.

The Melbourne Renegades are expected to mount a strong challenge to retain a title they won in February with a derby defeat of Melbourne Stars, who have will Dale Steyn in their attack for six matches.

There will also be a welcome return for Glenn Maxwell, back in action for the Stars after taking a break to deal with personal mental health issues.

Here, we examine teams and players to look out for and explain changes to the schedule for the 2019-20 edition, which gets under way when the Heat face the Thunder at The Gabba on Tuesday.

 

FINALS REVAMP PART OF SCHEDULE CHANGE

There were calls for change due to dwindling crowds in an eighth edition of the tournament that dragged on too long.

Cricket Australia has taken note of criticism, reducing the length of the competition from 54 to 42 days and revamping the finals format.

There will be 15 days with two matches played in order to cut the length of the BBL.

Five of the eight teams will reach the finals rather than four, with the sides in first and second place at the end of the regular season having two chances to reach the final.

 

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER FOR SMITH

Sixers fans have had to wait a long time to see Smith in their side and they will have to hope his arrival does not come when their title chances are over.

The former Australia captain, part of the Sixers squad that won the inaugural Big Bash in January 2012, will not be available until the back end of the competition due to Australia commitments.

Josh Hazlewood is also scheduled to join the Sixers after featuring for Australia following the Test series against New Zealand and ODIs in India, with the hope he will be fully fit after suffering a hamstring injury in the first Test against the Black Caps.

 

MARSH AND NEW COACH CAN HELP RENEGADES KLING ON TO TITLE

Michael Klinger took over as Renegades coach after Andrew McDonald was appointed Australia assistant coach in October.

McDonald will be a hard act to follow, but the addition of batsman Shaun Marsh is a big coup for the defending champions.

Disciplined bowling was key to their maiden BBL triumph and they have managed to retain left-arm seamer Harry Gurney, while big things will be expected of Kane Richardson once again.

 

HEAT SHOULD WARM TO THE TASK UNDER LEHMANN

Brisbane handed Lehmann his first role coaching role since he quit as Australia boss following the Newlands ball-tampering scandal in March 2018. Lehmann was cleared of involvement in that ploy.

Lehmann, who replaces Daniel Vettori, oversaw the Heat's 2012-13 Big Bash title success and it would be no surprise if he celebrates a repeat.

De Villiers will make his debut for Brisbane, while explosive England batsman Tom Banton, Ben Laughlin, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Zahir Khan are also exciting additions.

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