Renegades claim victory over the Thunder | Melbourne Renegades - BBL
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Renegades claim victory over the Thunder

15 January 2020

The Melbourne Renegades were victorious for the first time in BBL|09, downing the Sydney Thunder in a 12-run win at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on Wednesday night.

That felt good
The win broke a nine-game losing streak to start the season, and was the Renegades’ first since winning the BBL|08 title on February 17 last year.

It’s natural to feel pleased due to that fact alone, but better still was the manner of the team’s win and the performances of several individuals with bat and ball.

Victory also turned the table on the Thunder, who beat the Renegades in the final over of the teams’ first match of the season in Geelong back on December 19.

It’s a win to savour for players, coaches and supporters, and will do no end of good in propelling the Renegades to greater heights in the back half of the season.

The man who changed the game
The Thunder needed 173 runs for victory, but with a top order including Usman Khawaja, Alex Hales and Callum Ferguson, anything was possible.

Until, of course, Khawaja and Ferguson were removed in the space of 13 balls.

Better still, it was all down to one man, Andrew Fekete (with a little help from his wicketkeeper).

Fekete, a replacement player for Under-19 World Cup captain Mackenzie Harvey, was playing his first match for the Renegades since the summer of 2013/2014.

The paceman took the new ball and impressed immediately, drawing an edge from Khawaja (0 runs off 4 balls) in his first over, the catch taken acrobatically by Sam Harper behind the stumps.

In his next over, just as the Thunder looked set to up the ante, Fekete struck again. But this time, it was a little different.

The 34-year-old stuck out his right arm to intercept a straight drive from Hales (31 runs off 25 balls), only for the ball to ricochet off his finger tips and collect the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

The upshot? Ferguson (7 runs off 7 balls) was caught short of his ground while backing up. Suddenly, the Renegades had the Thunder 2-21 in the third over and an early glimpse of the home side’s middle order.

Late hitting clears the ropes
Openers Shaun Marsh (47 runs off 24 balls) and Marcus Harris (22 runs off 24 balls) laid a solid foundation at the top of the order, but it was later on that the Renegades really got going.

Harper, batting at No. 3, steadily built his innings alongside Marsh and Beau Webster (8 runs off 9 balls) before chancing his arm in the final four overs.

He quickly raced to 52 runs from 38 deliveries, with three fours and two sixes thrown in for good measure.

Upon his departure, skipper Dan Christian (21 runs off 12 balls) and Mohammad Nabi (11 runs off 3 balls) both managed to clear the fence themselves, ensuring the Renegades posted a very healthy 4-172 from their 20 overs.

Closing it out
For any Renegades fan, things definitely weren’t smooth sailing during the Thunder’s run chase.

Sure, the ‘Gades were always on top, particularly once the match was impacted by a short rain delay, but no one was willing to write off the Thunder while Alex Ross (51 runs off 27 balls) was still at the crease.

The man known for his glorious sweep shots began to find his groove late in the chase, thumping a four and three sixes off one Nabi over to give his side a whiff of the most unlikely of victories.

But fortunately for the Renegades, Christian stepped up to the plate, having Ross caught by Jack Wildermuth, before sealing the deal by bowling Jay Lenton (2 runs off 2 balls) as the match ticked down to its conclusion.

The end result? A 12-run win to the Renegades. Victory has rarely tasted sweeter.

Got a curious fact for us?
On Twitter, @FlashCric noted the efforts of Marsh and Harper with the bat throughout BBL|09. On this evidence, they’re clearly the backbone of the ‘Gades’ batting line up.

What comes next?
The Renegades will stay on the road, flying from Canberra to Brisbane to take on the Heat at the Gabba at 7.10pm (AEDT) on Sunday evening. Their next match at Marvel Stadium is the Indigenous Match, against the Hobart Hurricanes on Tuesday January 21.