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Renegades no match for Hurricanes

19 December 2020

Strong performances with the bat from Sam Harper and Rilee Rossouw were not enough to prevent the Melbourne Renegades from falling to a six-wicket loss to the Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday.

A partnership to steady the ship
On the rebound from Sunday’s heavy loss against the Sixers, the Renegades would have hoped for a little more than starting the morning at 2-4 after two overs.

Stand-in captain Shaun Marsh (1 run off 2 balls) and Jake Fraser-McGurk (2 off 7) were gone in the blink of an eye, with pacemen James Faulkner and Scott Boland all over the Renegades like the proverbial cheap suit.

That’s where Sam Harper (66 off 52) and Rilee Rossouw (59 off 40) came in.

The pair rebuilt the innings beautifully, putting on 109 runs in nearly 13 overs, steadily working their way back into the ascendency before picking up the pace.

Rossouw hammered eight fours and one six, while Harper, who remained not out, hit four fours and two sixes as they combined to pull together a very defendable target of 5-157.

Hurricanes take charge
Josh Lalor set the tone for the Renegades early.

He bowled D’Arcy Short (1 off 2) with the third ball of the day and then ran out Will Jacks (10 off 7) courtesy of a toe poke early in the third over.

At 2-25, the Gades had all the momentum.

Then Ben McDermott came to the crease.

The Hurricanes’ No. 3 seized control, thumping 89 runs from 55 balls, with seven fours and five sixes involved in his match-winning rampage.

He was well supported by Colin Ingram (19 off 18) and Tim David (21 not out off 12) as the Canes cruised to a six-wicket win with 14 balls to spare.

The X-Factor activated
Saturday’s match marked a first – the first time the Melbourne Renegades used the Big Bash League’s new X-Factor rule.

The rule, which acts essentially as a substitute rule, was activated at the innings break during the Gades’ batting innings.

It brought Mackenzie Harvey into the game in place of Peter Hatzoglou, meaning Harvey was eligible to take part in the rest of the match, including the remainder of the batting innings, while Hatzoglou was ruled out of the action.

Unfortunately for Harvey, he wasn’t required for the bat, as the Renegades lost only five wickets.

International reinforcements arrive
The Renegades were pleased to welcome fan favourite Mohammad Nabi and teenaged debutant Noor Ahmad back into the camp after arriving from Afghanistan.

Both managed to leave their mark, too.

Nabi played a cameo role in the middle order beautifully, making 14 from 12 balls including two fours.

Noor, meanwhile, struck in his second over, capturing Hurricanes captain Peter Handscomb as his first wicket, caught in the deep by another teenager in Fraser-McGurk. He finished his day’s work with 1-27 to his name from four overs, and the promise of a very bright future ahead.

What comes next?
A short break over Christmas is in the offing for the Renegades, who will make their next appearance against the Sydney Thunder on Boxing Day at 6.10pm (AEDT) at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.