The win breaks the Renegades’ run of seven straight losses, a period in which the club has played in Tasmania, Canberra, Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide.
The match was the club’s ninth on the road since early December and comes on the eve of its return to Melbourne for five matches in its home town.
President Nabi holds sway
At 2-44 in the sixth over, the Gades were staring down the barrel of an eighth loss in as many matches.
Set 178 for victory, this was never going to be an easy chase, and the loss of openers Aaron Finch (14 runs from 15 deliveries) and Mackenzie Harvey (14 off 13) meant things were just that bit trickier.
But never write off a team that has Mohammad Nabi at the crease.
The fan favourite played a masterful T20 innings, starting steadily before working his way through the gears, hitting nine fours and two sixes on his way to 71 not out from 41 deliveries at a strike rate of 173.17.
Importantly, he helped guide new face Jake Fraser-McGurk (29 not out off 23) through the chase, as the pair put on 68 runs in a tick over seven overs.
With three overs to go, the Gades still needed 28 for victory, but Nabi and Fraser-McGurk stayed calm throughout, steering the side to its total with a ball to spare.
Striking back with the ball
The Renegades didn’t have long to dwell on their last loss to the Adelaide Strikers.
After all, it took place only three days earlier, when the Strikers cruised to a 60-run win, bowling the Renegades out for only 111.
Perhaps the short turnaround was a good thing – less time to think, and a chance to get back out on the park and take some points back to Melbourne.
The match didn’t start on the greatest of notes, though, for the Strikers gallivanted to 61 before losing their first wicket in the eighth over.
It took another seven overs for the second wicket to fall, and at 2-136, the home side was primed to head towards a double century by the time their 20 overs came to a close.
But to assume that would be underestimating the resilience of the Renegades’ attack, led by spinner Peter Hatzoglou (3-43) and all-rounder Jack Prestwidge (2-20), who helped take key wickets at the back end of the innings.
Combined with Imad Wasim (1-28) and Kane Richardson (1-40), they were able to wrest back some of the momentum the Strikers had commandeered, and instead held them to 7-177 – an imposing but not impossible victory target.
What comes next?
The Renegades are finally on their way back to Melbourne after beginning their BBL|10 odyssey in Hobart against the Scorchers on 10 December.
They will take on the Brisbane Heat next Thursday at Marvel Stadium, starting a run of five matches in their home town before the end of the regular season.
Things haven't been super smooth since we last toasted victory against the Scorchers.— Melbourne Renegades (@RenegadesBBL) January 8, 2021
But these guys + the group around them have never dropped their heads nor their spirits.
It's a win for all who #GETONRED to savour.