The score: Melbourne Renegades 3-137 (Tom Cooper 52 not out, Cameron White 51, Shadab Khan 2-17) def Brisbane Heat 8-132 (Alex Ross 48, Jack Wildermuth 3-16)
Match in a tweet: Renegades produce powerful display with bat and ball and look a genuine contender to end a four-season absence from finals. #BBL07
The hero: Queenslander Jack Wildermuth delivered a career-best performance and shredded the Brisbane Heat’s top order on his way to impressive figures of 3-16 from four overs in a man-of-the-match effort. Melbourne Renegades paceman Wildermuth remove state teammates Jimmy Peirson, Sam Heazlett and Marnus Labuschagne to put the Heat on the back foot. The 24-year-old went wicket-less against the Hobart Hurricanes on Thursday night but now has 12 wickets from 11 T20 appearances.
The support cast: Cameron White made it consecutive half-centuries for the Melbourne Renegades, thumping 51 from 43 balls, including four boundaries and two sixes. While there were some nervous moments in the run chase (despite the fact they finished with seven wickets in hand), the No.3 showcased his power hitting and ensured his team moved to 2-0. White belted an unbeaten 79 against the Hobart Hurricanes in the Renegades’ season opener. “He looks like he’s almost in career-best form to me at the moment,” former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said during the broadcast on Channel 10. He combined with Tom Cooper, who made an unbeaten 52, for an 89-run stand for the third wicket that proved crucial in the wash up. Experienced duo Brad Hogg (2-25) and Dwayne Bravo (2-27) also impressed for the Renegades.
The consolation effort: Alex Ross played a lone hand for the Heat, compiling 48 from 44 balls and backing up his 51 against the Melbourne Stars in his team’s tournament opener on Wednesday night. The 25-year-old arrived at the crease with the Heat struggling at 3-28 and hit three fours and one six, logging his fourth T20 half-century.
The victims: It was a forgettable night for the two skippers. Renegades leader Aaron Finch made just eight to take his BBL|07 tally to 12 runs from two innings. But given he is the second-highest runscorer in the history of the BBL, don’t expect the run of outs to last too long. Heat captain Brendon McCullum, who was coming off an impressive 40 against the Melbourne Stars, lasted just six balls before he was knocked over by part-time spinner Cooper for five.
The moment: With the Renegades 2-65 in the 11th over and White in superb touch, Josh Lalor was presented with a catching chance from the experienced right-hander at long off. However, the ball fell just short, with Channel Ten commentator Adam Gilchrist suggesting Lalor had an opportunity to end White’s stay at the crease.
Heat’s star import: After claiming two wickets in his first appearance for the Heat, Pakistan teenager Shadab Khan again impressed with 2-17 from four overs – an economy rate of only 4.25. The leg-spinner, who has represented his country in all three formats, claimed the key wickets of Renegades openers Marcus Harris and Finch, with three of his overs coming in the powerplay.
The stat: The Renegades are now 2-0 for the first time since BBL|02 – when they made the semi-finals – as they look to end a four-season absence from finals.
The turning point: The partnership between White and Cooper proved to be matchwinning after the Renegades slipped to 2-29. While the run chase hardly appeared daunting, the 89 the pair put on from 75 balls ultimately got their team across the line.
The fantasy wrap: Wildermuth ($58,700) top-scored with 94, while Cooper ($73,400) logged 76 and Khan ($65,100) 74.
The next stops: The Renegades will return to Etihad Stadium on Friday night to face defending champions the Perth Scorchers, who will be full of confidence after an emphatic win over the Sydney Sixers. The Heat will meet the Sydney Thunder at the Gabba on Wednesday in what looms as a vital clash with both sides at 1-1.