The match in a tweet: Aaron Finch leads the way as the Renegades get the win on the road!
The Score: Melbourne Renegades 9-152 (Finch 54, White 40; Sandhu 3-23) defeated Sydney Thunder 5-140 (Ferguson 52, Sangha 54no; Gurney 2-27) by 12 runs at Spotless Stadium
The Hero: Renegades skipper Aaron Finch (54 off 38) was slow out of the blocks and at one point had scored just 14 from 17 deliveries at the nine-over mark of the innings. But the opener found the accelerator when he hammered Arjun Nair for two sixes - one of which landed on the roof - in the 11th over. He brought up his half-century and look poised to take the Renegades to a mighty total, only to fall to a Gurinder Sandhu slower ball in the 16th over.
The Supporting Cast: The Renegades bowlers did a superb job of defending what might have seemed a below-par total at the change of innings. Kane Richardson (2-31) started it when he dismissed Anton Devcich for a duck with the third ball of the innings, before Harry Gurney (2-27) picked up the key scalp of Shane Watson for one. When Callum Ferguson and Jason Sangha were forming a handy partnership, Cameron Boyce (1-22) struck to remove the former, before Gurney and Richardson ensured Chris Green (7) and Daniel Sams (2) did little damage.
The Consolation Acts: Ferguson flew the flag with the bat in the Thunder’s chase, scoring a half-century. He reached the boundary seven times in his 36-ball knock, but his dismissal couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Thunder, leaving them needing 65 from the final seven overs.
With the ball, Sams (3-29) and Gurinder Sandhu (3-23) picked up three wickets apiece to stall the Renegades’ batting effort. After Sandhu removed Finch with a deft slower ball in the 16th over, the visitors lost six wickets for just 36 runs, including the dismissals of dangermen Dan Christian (6) and Cameron White (40) with back-to-back Sams deliveries.
The Monster Six: This six from Finch was so massive, it sailed onto the roof of Spotless Stadium.
The Surprise: With opener Marcus Harris departing on Test duty, the Renegades needed to select a replacement and they took a gamble on spinner Boyce. But the experiment lasted just two deliveries, with Boyce caught for a duck off the bowling of Sams.
The Banter: Richardson is making a habit of taking the mickey out of his opponents’ wicket celebrations. First it was Marcus Stoinis, this time he was quick to mimic the antics of the Thunder's Sandhu.
The Tidbit: It was only the second time that each team has been 1-0 in a BBL match, with Boyce and Devcich both perishing in the first over of each innings. The other time was between the Heat and Renegades in 2015.
The Next Stop: The Thunder travel west to meet the Scorchers at Optus Stadium on January 24, while the Renegades also head to Perth next up, for a match on January 28.
Sydney Thunder XI: Shane Watson (c), Anton Devcich, Callum Ferguson, Jason Sangha, Arjun Nair, Chris Green, Jay Lenton, Chris Jordan, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Fawad Ahmed
Melbourne Renegades XI: Aaron Finch (c), Tom Cooper, Sam Harper (wk), Cameron White, Mackenzie Harvey, Mohammad Nabi, Dan Christian, Cameron Boyce, Kane Richardson, Chris Tremain, Harry Gurney