The score: Melbourne Renegades 6-189 (Harris 64, Short 28; Sandhu 2-37) defeated Sydney Thunder 180 (Rohrer 48, Nair 35; Richardson 4-22) by nine runs
Match in a tweet: RENEGADES WIN! A thriller in Canberra as the move into the top four and end the Thunder season #BBL07
The final over: The Thunder needed 14 off 6, with Chris Green on strike having raced his way to 22 from 13 – keeping the home team in a chase that on more than one occasion looked to have drifted out of their reach. Kieron Pollard had the ball for the Renegades and held his nerve superbly: Green top edged his first delivery and departed as Jack Wildermuth clung on to the high chance. A two from Mitch McClenaghan followed, then a single, a dot, single and a wicket to secure a thrilling nine-run win.
The hero: Arjun Nair and Ben Rohrer ignited the Thunder’s hopes during the middle stages of the chase, adding 84 runs in 6.2 overs. But the wind was quickly taken out of their sails as Renegades quick Kane Richardson struck, first removing Nair, then Rohrer in the 15th over. He added another two scalps during his fourth and final over, removing Aiden Blizzard and Gurinder Sandhu, finishing with 4-22 and ensuring the two points went the way of the Renegades.
The comeback kid: Marcus Harris wasn’t going to play at Manuka Oval. Harris almost didn’t even travel to Canberra with the Renegades’ squad. The opener was originally omitted from the 13-player group named by the Renegades on Tuesday, but received a late reprieve when veteran batsman Brad Hodge withdrew from the match with appendicitis. Harris made the most of the opportunity, blasting his way to 64 from just 41 deliveries. He cleared the boundary twice – including one monster six over deep mid-wicket – in his blazing knock, sharing in a 77-run opening stand with new opening partner Matt Short, who scored 28 off 24. Harris’ knock eventually came to an end when he was bowled by spinner Chris Green in the 13th over.
The super cameo: Renegades No.8 Beau Webster only faced four deliveries, but he certainly made them count. Batting in the final over of the Renegades’ innings, Webster got off the mark with two, before sending the next two legal deliveries he faced from Mitchell McClenaghan for six. He ended the innings with a boundary, finishing with 18no from four balls. All in all, 25 runs came off the final over in a handy late-innings boost for the visitors.
The consolation efforts: The Thunder were looking down the barrel of not only defeat, but season over for BBL|07 when Nair and Rohrer came together in the middle with the Thunder were 4-51 in pursuit of the Renegades’ 6-189. If 19-year-old Nair was intimidated, it certainly didn’t show as he plundered 45 runs in a whirlwind 25-ball knock.
Veteran Rohrer was equally at home as he smashed 48 from 21 – including 28 runs from one Jack Wildermuth over.
The catch: The big wicket of Thunder captain Shane Watson was one the Renegades sorely wanted. Watson was looking ominous on 22 having struck three sixes, but his 16-ball innings came to an abrupt end thanks to some athletic work from West Indian Kieron Pollard, who held on to a brilliant running catch.
The over: The task in front of the Thunder was beginning to look insurmountable at 4-107 at the end of the 13th over, still 83 runs shy of their target… Enter Ben Rohrer. The Thunder No.6 took Renegades bowler Jack Wildermuth to task, smashing 6, 4, 4, 6, 4 and 4. Yep, that’s 28 runs from six balls. Suddenly the Thunder were 4-135 and needed 55 from 36 deliveries.
The celebration: It’s not clear why Thunder quick Mitch McClenaghan went to hit the stumps after successfully catching out Dwayne Bravo, but he tried… and even he had to laugh at how that worked out.
The PRU: The Thunder’s creative way to try and avoid over rate concerns was revealed as Aiden Blizzard explained the 'Peripheral Retrieval Unit', its important role in speeding up over rates - and hydrating players – and its unique induction process.
The fantasy stars: Kane Richardson ($54,200) led the way, with 112 points, followed by Renegades teammates Kieron Pollard ($51,300) with 98 and Marcus Harris ($51,700) with 84.
The next stops: It’s season over for the Thunder, who had needed a win at Manuka Oval to keep their BBL|07 semi-final hopes alive. The Renegades roll on to Brisbane, where they’ll play the Heat on Saturday night. There, a win will cement their finals berth, but a defeat would see net run rate come into the equation.