The Snapshot: Despite losing the bat flip and being sent to the crease, the Sixers made the most of what was initially considered to be a less-than-desirable situation for the visitors. Openers Josh Philippe and Daniel Hughes were in scintillating form with the bat, piling on a massive 87 runs for the first wicket. It was Cameron Boyce who got the initial breakthrough for the Renegades, capturing the crucial wicket of Philippe for 52, dismissing him thanks to a catch from Marcus Harris in the ninth over.
Hughes took up from where Philippe left off for the Sixers, and with 100 runs up and only half the innings gone, the boys from Sydney looked well on track for a total in excess of 200…until Boyce was brought back into the attack. Just like with the dismissal of Philippe, minutes after reaching his half century Boyce got another crucial wicket, with Hughes also departing for 52 thanks to a sharp catch from Tom Cooper. Thankfully this slowed the Sixers run rate, but they still finished on a formidable 3-180 after their 20 overs, still setting the Renegades a massive target to reach their first BBL Final.
Renegades openers Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris strode to the crease, the crowd sensed that something special had to be on the cards if the Renegades were snatch victory from out under the Sixers’ noses. When Harris hit a boundary off the first ball of the innings, the Marvel Stadium crowed was buoyed with hope that this could be a special performance with the bat from the Renegades. But when Steve O’Keefe bowled Harris just three balls later, the 181 runs required for victory suddenly seemed that much harder to get.
However the top order rallied, with entertaining cameos from Sam Harper (36 runs off 17 balls), Cameron White (29 off 17) and Tom Cooper (14 off 10) all pitching in with useful runs. With Renegades’ captain Finch still at the crease, the sense was that a home grand final was still safe while Finchy was on watch. And then his wicket fell. A mis-timed switch hit saw O’Keefe secure another crucial wicket, with Finch departing for 44 off 41, and the Renegades still requiring another 48 runs for victory.
With the Renegades looking down the barrel of defeat, it took Dan Christian and Cam Boyce to turn the momentum around. Even when the Renegades required 25 runs off 12 balls, Christian continued to give the Gades fans hope clearing the boundary at will. With six balls remaining and just seven runs required, Boyce stood on his wicket and left Renegades fans thinking is there another twist. Enter Kane Richardson who found the boundary on his second delivery, and then hitting the winning runs with one ball to spare.
The Key Moment: At the beginning of the 19th over, the Renegades needed 25 runs for victory, as well as the right to play in and host their first-ever BBL Grand Final. It seemed like an unlikely mountain to climb, but still somehow achievable. However when Sean Abbott’s final over went for 18 runs – largely thanks to two massive sixes from Christian – the over left the Renegades with just seven runs required off the final over.
The Key Player: In a Player of the Match-winning performance Christian smashed an unbeaten 31 runs off just 14 balls – and with an incredible strike rate of 221.43 – to add to this he partnered both Boyce and Richardson to book the Renegades a first ever BBL final.Up Next: Our first ever BBL Grand Final appearance! And what more, we’re hosting it! In the ultimate Melbourne Derby we’ll take on the Melbourne Stars at Marvel Stadium this Sunday to decide who will be crowned the BBL|08 Champions! The first ball will be bowled at 2.45pm.