An over of chaos
After 12.1 overs, the Renegades were settled. Not quite coasting, but not too far from it, at 2-88.
Five balls later, they were 5-90. How things change.
First, Aaron Finch was run out at the non-striker’s end by a direct hit from Rashid Khan.
The very next delivery, Marcus Harris clipped one towards the fence, only to find Matt Short’s hands cupped underneath it.
On the final ball of the over, Dan Christian was run out from the first ball he faced. This time, it was Phil Salt in the action.
Two run outs and a catch on the boundary. Suddenly, the game had irreversibly shifted.
One bowls pace, the other bowls spin.
But while they’re different in style, Kane Richardson and Cameron Boyce make a mighty powerful combination with ball in hand.
Richardson made his mark early, ending danger man Jake Weatherald’s night on six.
Later on, he helped clean up the middle order, removing Jonathan Wells (20 runs off 24 balls), former teammate Cameron White (2 runs off 4 balls) and Rashid Khan (25 runs off 16 balls) to help put the brakes on the Strikers’ innings.
As for Boyce, he was the man who removed the Strikers’ two most in form players. He nabbed Phillip Salt (54 runs off 26 balls) and Alex Carey (41 runs off 37 balls), and it was the catch off his own bowling from Salt that helped get the Renegades back in the game.
Two balls of mayhem
In the space of 60 seconds, the Renegades nearly lost two wickets in the fourth over, bowled by Wes Agar.
First, captain Aaron Finch looked like he’d been caught at short fine leg after flicking one off his pads.
Fortunately, it was off his pads.
The Strikers celebrated and Finch looked concerned, only to be given the reprieve from the umpire.
Seconds later, Sam Harper, who had taken strike after the batsmen had crossed, skied the following ball miles into the air. Confusion set in for a moment as wicketkeeper Alex Carey and Rashid Khan took their time to work out exactly who was in best position to catch. Fortunately for the Strikers, they had more than enough time to get themselves set for Carey to catch it, fumble it slightly and then hang on safely as he tumbled to ground.
You can’t turn your head for a minute in T20 cricket.
Got a curious fact for us?
After just 11 overs, the Renegades had used seven different bowlers. For the record, they were Richard Gleeson, Kane Richardson, Harry Gurney, Will Sutherland, Cameron Boyce, Beau Webster and Dan Christian.
What comes next?
The Melbourne Renegades’ schedule is about to get very busy. The club will host the Spy Game against the Sydney Sixers on Thursday 2 January, before heading to the MCG for the first Melbourne Derby of the summer against the Stars two days later. Then, it’s back to Geelong for a match against the Perth Scorchers on 7 January. Just three days afterwards, the Gades will be back at Marvel Stadium to host the second Derby against the team in green.
There’s a bit going on!