The match in a tweet: Gades glory, Marvel miracle! Men in red sensationally recover from early stumble to taste Big Bash glory, with an inexplicable Stars collapse of 7-19 sealing the deal #BBL08
The scores: Melbourne Renegades 5-145 (Cooper 43*, Christian 38*; Zampa 2-21) defeated the Melbourne Stars (Dunk 57, Stoinis 39; Tremain 2-21) by 13 runs
The collapse: Just incredible. Things seemed to be going so smoothly for the Stars at 0-93 in the 13th over chasing 146 to win. Then, in a flash, their top seven batters departed for 19 runs in the space of 29 balls. Marcus Stoinis, who appeared to be timing his innings to perfection, was the first go before Peter Handscomb and Ben Dunk soon followed. Glenn Maxwell, after being dropped by Cameron White off a tough chance, then holed out to long-on. Seb Gotch and Nic Maddinson soon followed, as Chris Tremain (2-21), Cameron Boyce (2-30) and Daniel Christian (2-33) wreaked havoc. It was an inexplicable passage of play – the Stars had lost 4-6, 6-15 and eventually 7-19 - to go from sure-fire winners to stunned losers.
The support cast: Slumping to 5-65 in the 11th over, the Renegades looked on a hiding to nothing with their last two recognised batters at the crease. But Tom Cooper and Dan Christian were superb in guiding the Renegades to a competitive total with an unbroken 80-run stand. After initially playing it safe to ensure there was no further damage in the wicket column, the pair unleashed to take 54 from the final five overs of the innings – a remarkable feat considering Dwayne Bravo conceded just three off the 18th over. It proved a match-winning partnership.
The go-slow: Questions will undoubtedly be asked about whether Stars openers Dunk and Stoinis batted too slowly in their 13-over, 93-run partnership. The pair never looked troubled as they picked off the Renegades bowlers with a minimum of fuss, with Dunk, fresh off two golden ducks in his last two appearances at Marvel Stadium, brought up a 38-ball half-century and Stoinis looked to be setting himself for the perfect time to strike. But their exits left the Stars in the lurch, pre-empting their stunning flop.
The misfortune: The Melbourne Stars would have pored over stats hoping to uncover a weakness in Aaron Finch's game, but no amount of careful preparation could have anticipated this. Backing up at the non-striker's end, Finch was caught short as Jackson Bird stuck a foot out to a powerful White drive to deflect the ball onto the stumps. Finch begun walking off immediately as television replays confirmed his fate, before aggressively wrapping his bat around a plastic chair – twice. It was a huge moment in the context of the game – Finch, on 13, was just starting to look dangerous after the Renegades had already lost a pair of wickets in the Power Play.
The toss: Renegades captain Finch was more than happy when his counterpart Maxwell won the bat flip and bowled, admitting he would have batted anyway. Finch's thinking was that the same Marvel pitch used for Friday night's semi would likely slow down and get harder to bat on as the game progressed. The Stars' brilliant start with the ball meant the Gades were handicapped very early on, but Finch's logic might have paid off as the Stars fell in a heap in astonishing fashion.
The return: Surprisingly left out of the Stars XI for their semi win over the Hobart Hurricanes, Jackson Bird was back in a big way for the final. Skipper Maxwell, who's opted to open the bowling with his off-spin in recent games, instead elected for convention with pacemen Bird and Dan Worrall thrown the new ball. Worrall was again superb up front, but it was Bird who made the early incisions, removing Marcus Harris and Sam Harper after cramping them for room with short balls. The nine-Test quick then pulled off the brilliant (or lucky, depending on how much credit you want to give him) run-out of Finch in his final over.
The spin twins: The Stars' remarkable batting implosion shouldn’t mask the fact their dual wrist-spinning threats of Adam Zampa and Sandeep Lamichhane came up trumps on the biggest stage to spearhead a superb bowling performance. Facing high-quality leg-spin is one of the hardest things a batter has to do when they first arrive at the crease and the pair were terrific in squeezing the Renegades through the middle overs after their sputtering start. It was Zampa who snared two scalps, but Lamichhane was equally effective as they conceded just 37 runs from a combined eight overs. Fielding two specialist leggies in the same XI was once a rare occurrence in any form of cricket – now, in T20s, it might well be the new norm.
Melbourne Renegades: Aaron Finch (c), Marcus Harris, Sam Harper, Cameron White, Mackenzie Harvey, Tom Cooper, Dan Christian, Kane Richardson, Chris Tremain, Harry Gurney
Melbourne Stars: Ben Dunk, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell (c), Seb Gotch, Dwayne Bravo, Jackson Bird, Adam Zampa, Dan Worrall, Sandeep Lamichhane