The final home match for the Renegades in BBL|06 shapes as the most crucial of the lot.
Sitting one game outside the top four with three left to play, the situation becomes extremely dicey for the Renegades if they can’t defeat the Hurricanes on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, Hobart has no room for error and must win both of its remaining matches to have a chance to make finals.
It makes for a contest at Etihad Stadium with a lot on the line.
Melbourne Renegades v Hobart Hurricanes
Thursday January 12, Etihad Stadium
7:40pm EDT, live on Channel 10
Aaron Finch (C), Tom Cooper, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Marcus Harris, Brad Hogg, Sunil Narine, Peter Nevill, James Pattinson, Nathan Rimmington, Thisara Perera, Matt Short, Cameron White
In: Marcus Harris, Nathan Rimmington
Out: Tom Beaton, Chris Tremain
Tim Paine (C), Dan Christian, Cam Boyce, George Bailey, Stuart Broad, Hamish Kingston, Ben McDermott, Sam Rainbird, Jake Reed, Kumar Sangakkara, D’Arcy Short, Beau Webster, Jon Wells
In: Sam Rainbird, Jake Reed
Out: Clive Rose, Shaun Tait
RELATED: Two changes for Hurricanes clash
While recent previews have touched on the Renegades attempting to turn around prior records against the likes of the Scorchers and Sixers, it’s completely the opposite against the Hurricanes.
The Renegades have won each of the last four matches against the Hurricanes, with the majority coming down in Hobart.
BBL|02: Renegades 3/103 (Finch 46*) defeated Hurricanes 9/102 (Rimmington 3/18) by 7 wickets
BBL|03: Renegades 8/162 (Finch 50) defeated Hurricanes 111 (Pattinson 4/24) by 51 runs
BBL|04: Renegades 7/163 (Stokes 77) defeated Hurricanes 126 (Winter 3/19) by 37 runs
BBL|05: Renegades 5/144 (Finch 60) defeated Hurricanes 5/140 (Doherty 2/19) by 5 wickets
Thursday’s clash will be the first between the sides at Etihad Stadium since way back in BBL|02, when Aaron Finch memorably hit the roof.
The Renegades’ captain has typically enjoyed playing against Hobart, and comes into the match off the back of his second half-century in the tournament.
He’ll be looking for more support around him though. Despite several of his teammates looking in promising touch at various stages of the tournament, aside from Finch there has only been one half century by a Renegade in BBL|06.
That half-century has come from Cameron White, who is mindful of what he needs to do out in the middle.
“I still feel I’m in good form (but) it’s really frustrating to be honest with only one score above 50, then a couple of 30’s and the 19 the other night,” White said.
“It’d be nice to kick on and get that 70 or 80. That’s what I’m looking for, and my form is good so hopefully it’s around the corner.”
The Hurricanes’ bowling line-up has tended to be hit and miss this summer. Their two victories have come after bowling the Sixers out for 140 and the Strikers for 143.
Yet they’ve gone at close to 10 an over or more in matches against the Stars (3/191 off 17.4), Heat (3/174 off 16.2) and Thunder (4/162 off 16.5).
The omission of Clive Rose and Shaun Tait for Thursday means the Renegades will likely be facing a bowling attack with several differences to earlier in the tournament.
A changed bowling attack looks to be the case for both sides, with the Renegades omitting Chris Tremain after two expensive efforts against the Stars and Sixers.
Nathan Rimmington appears to be the like-for-like replacement, but there is also the option of playing an extra spinner given their successes in previous matches.
The Renegades are well aware what their best is capable of, and it’ll be their centre of attention against the Hurricanes.
“Our main focus is getting our game together,” White explained.
“We’ve been in every game except for the second Stars game, so we’re not far away.
“If we can improve those two or three over blocks, whether that be with the bat or the ball, that’ll probably be the difference between winning or losing.”