Hodge, McDonald power Renegades to win
Melboune Renegades 164 for 2 (Hodge 72*, McDonald 60*) beat Sydney Sixers 161 for 6 (Henriques 41, Harwood 2-28) by eight wickets
Brad Hodge and Andrew McDonald buried Sydney Sixers in an avalanche of big hits to set up Melbourne Renegades' second successive win, moving them into the top half of the Big Bash League table for the first time.
Chasing a challenging 162 to win, the Renegades were given a power-packed start by Aaron Finch who clubbed Brett Lee for a six over square leg in the first over, en route to 25 off 15 balls. Glenn Maxwell failed at No. 3, bringing McDonald to the crease in the fifth over, and thereafter the innings steadied itself before taking off in style.
No boundaries were scored in the six overs following Maxwell's exit, as the asking-rate mounted to leave the Renegades needing 97 off the last 10 overs. McDonald had nudged his way to 10 off 18 balls by then, while Hodge was on 25 off 24. The scene rapidly changed colours thereafter, with McDonald signalling the end of the cease-fire by launching Stuart MacGill over long-on for two sixes in the 11th over.
A six each came in the next two overs, before Hodge plundered Lee for three fours in the 14th over, reducing the equation to 51 off six overs. Hodge proceeded to thump Dominic Thornely for two more sixes in the next over, before McDonald turned his guns on Steve Smith, slugging him for three sixes. The ferocity of the assault meant that Renegades were home with 14 balls to spare. In all, McDonald hit seven sixesin 60 off 37 balls, while Hodge cleared the ropes three times in his 72.
The Sixers would have expected a closer contest after hustling their way to 161 in the first half of the game. Dwayne Bravo's early exit was overcome by a chirpy 46-run stand between Michael Lumb and Nic Maddinson. As is his wont, Shahid Afridi produced the breach, getting Maddinson stumped for 29. Smith kept the momentum going, but Shane Harwood removed him just as he began to look dangerous. The closing flourish came from Moises Henriques, who hit three fours and a six in 40 off 31 balls, but his fireworks fizzled in front of the fusillade that was to follow.