Two Sixers sixties deny Renegades
With 5-175 on the board, the Renegades had every reason to feel confident as they left the dugout to begin the second innings.
But on a good batting deck, a pair of 60s from Josh Philippe (61 runs from 42 balls) and Steve Smith (66 runs not out from 40 balls) ensured the home side was rarely troubled on its way to a comfortable seven-wicket win.
Smith, as ever, was a mixture of inventive and explosive, reverse-sweeping one minute and hoiking the ball over the mid-wicket boundary the next.
Of the Renegades’ bowlers, only Will Sutherland (1-24 from 3.4 overs) was able to keep things tight as the Sixers rattled home with eight balls to spare.
Finch returns with a ton
Aaron Finch made two half centuries during the first half of the BBL|09 season before flying out to India to captain Australia in a three-match ODI series.
That ODI series, mind you, ended only a few days ago.
In fact, that last match was on 19 January. Here, at the SCG a mere six days later, he plundered his first BBL century since 2012.
The skipper looked well at home from the outset and gradually built into his innings. As noted on Twitter by @SportsBoyShawn, Finch made a steady start, moving to 63 from 51 balls. Then, in the space of just 13 deliveries, he accelerated to 101.
As @SportsBoyShawn pointed out, Finch went through a 12-ball spell that went : 4-6-4-2-2-4-6-1-4-1-2-2.
The ton was his first in the Big Bash since he hammered Shane Warne’s Stars in the first Melbourne Derby of BBL|02. That night, he struck four sixes. Against the Sixers in 2020, Finch hit seven of them.
Only once has a Renegades’ player hit more sixes in an innings (eight by Alex Hales in early 2013).
Debutants step up
Step up or Step-ein?
The Renegades chose two first gamers for Saturday’s match, giving the youth of Nathan McSweeney and Brayden Stepein the opportunity to show their wares late in the season.
Both made bright starts, with McSweeney batting at No. 3, making 11 from 15 balls before he was trapped LBW by Tom Curran.
Stepein, meanwhile, didn’t get a chance with the bat but performed well with the wicketkeeping gloves.
The keeper, standing in for the injured Sam Harper, made 62 from just 19 balls while batting for Carlton in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition last week.
With numbers like that, he’ll be more than handy when his time comes with the willow.
Raise your golden hand
Sometimes, you just know it’s going to be your day.
When paceman Andrew Fekete ran out Callum Ferguson by getting a hand to the ball as it returned to the bowler’s end against the Thunder last week, it felt like the cricket Gods were finally back on the Renegades’ side.
History looked set to repeat only a matter of days later when Will Sutherland was able to bring to an end James Vince’s stay at the crease after the Sixers had raced to 0-49 from the first 31 balls.
Sutherland later had a hand in another wicket, finishing Josh Philippe’s day on 61 (from 42 balls) when he had him caught on the boundary by Mohammad Nabi.
Got a curious fact for us?
With Finch tonning up, there were plenty of great facts flying around Twitter.
Here are some of our favourites.
Aaron Finch caught on the boundary for 109— Swamp (@sirswampthing) January 25, 2020
Most T20 runs scored on Aussie soil
3,494 - AARON FINCH
2,829 - Shaun Marsh
2,542 - Chris Lynn
2,520 - George Bailey
2,506 - Cameron White
2,503 - Brad Hodge
@RenegadesBBL @BBL #BBL09
What comes next?
The Renegades will run out onto the field for one last time in BBL|09 when they host the Brisbane Heat at Marvel Stadium on Monday afternoon. The match marks Member Appreciation Arvo, as the club thanks its members for being a part of another big campaign. Get your tickets online through Ticketmaster or at the gate for the 2.45pm (AEDT) start on the Australia Day public holiday.