Renegades seamers seal 57-run win
Melbourne Renegades 3 for 210 (Finch 81, Buttler 61) beat Brisbane Heat 153 (Cutting 40, Pattinson 3-36) by 57 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
With England 4-0 down in the Ashes series, Buttler's 61 from 36 balls was a rare sighting in Australia of an England player middling the ball and smiling broadly.
In the city where England threw away a dominant position to lose the fourth Test at the MCG, Buttler pronounced that the future is not unmitigated gloom for England.
Buttler is expected to keep wicket for England in the forthcoming one-day series against Australia. Although England have ambitions for him to develop into a Test batsman, his all-round skills were not enough to dislodge the much-maligned Jonny Bairstow as reserve wicketkeeper in England's Ashes squad.
Heat, the defending champions were never really in the hunt as the Renegades trio thumped 11 fours and 11 sixes between them on their way to posting 3 for 210 after winning the toss.
Finch was unsure of the quality of the dry drop-in surface at Etihad Stadium when the coin fell his way, but he and Buttler made batting look easy after taking their time to settle.
The pair came together at the fall of Alex Doolan in the fifth over and showed opposing stand-in captain, Daniel Vettori, immense respect by nudging just nine runs from his first two overs as the total crawled to 1 for 53 after eight overs.
The introduction of Nathan Hauritz saw Finch flick the switch. He slog swept the off-spinner for consecutive sixes to kick-start a tit-for-tat hitting competition between the two T20 internationals.
Hauritz did not bowl again as Buttler and Finch combined for 108 runs off just 64 balls. The powerful right-handers clubbed Cameron Gannon, Daniel Christian and Ben Cutting to all corners of the stadium.
Vettori was forced to bring himself back earlier than expected to remove Buttler in his 16th over. Peter Forrest held a fluky one-handed catch after misjudging a powerfully struck drive to wide long off to end an entertaining innings from the Englishman.
But with Vettori bowled out, Finch and Ben Rohrer lifted to another gear. Finch drilled three boundaries through the offside in the following over before slicing a catch off Christian to fall 19 runs short of his third T20 hundred.
Rohrer then smashed 36 runs in 11 deliveries to take the total beyond 200. The left-hander got some help from Alister McDermott, who bowled two full toss no-balls above waist-height, with both of them clearing the rope comfortably. McDermott was not allowed to complete his over, with Cutting being thrown the ball, but the right-armer only proceeded to dish up another full toss that Rohrer thumped into the crowd.
The Heat's chase never really got going. James Pattinson bowled a lively opening spell in his comeback following stress fractures. The Renegades quick forced a leading edge from Craig Kieswetter in the fourth over to start the rot.
Luke Pomersbach laboured to 21 from 30 balls when Aaron O'Brien ended his torturous stay. There was no way back for the Heat as O'Brien, Muttiah Muralitharan and Nathan Rimmington strangled the middle order.
Five sweetly struck sixes from Cutting ensured the scoreboard remained respectable, but he fell to one of several high-class outfield catches, which along with the two run outs, backed up the excellent bowling performance.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth