Melbourne Stars v Melbourne Renegades, BBL 2012-13, Melbourne January 6, 2013

Warne and Samuels in ugly clash

The Report by Andrew Fuss and ESPNcricinfo staff

Melbourne Renegades 1 for 147 (Finch 67*) beat Melbourne Stars 9 for 146 (Wright 29, Sheridan 3-36) by nine wickets

Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels were involved in an ugly confrontation as Melbourne Renegades secured a home semi-final in the Big Bash League in front of a record crowd for domestic cricket in Australia.

Aaron Finch's 67 off just 47 balls helped the Renegades to a nine-wicket win with seven balls to spare in front of a crowd of 46,581 which turned out for a fiery Melbourne derby.

Cricket Australia's delight at the success of the much-debated derby formula will be overshadowed by the ill discipline on the field as tempers flared between Warne, the Melbourne Stars captain, and Samuels, the enigmatic Renegades West Indies all-rounder, with several incidents likely to be looked at closely in the coming days.

CA officials are expected to announce details of a disciplinary hearing on Monday, although they will first check on the well-being of Samuels, who damaged an eye-socket after top-edging a ball from Lasith Malinga through the grill of his helmet and needed treatment at a Melbourne hospital. His tournament is assumed to be over.

Samuels angered the hosts during the Melboune Stars innings when he grabbed David Hussey as he was trying to turn for a second run - and Warne let him know all about it when he came out to bat.

In a verbal tirade picked up by Fox Sports microphones, Warne criticised Samuels for his unsporting behaviour at the end of the leg-spinner's second over, grabbing the West Indian by the shirt in illustration and jabbing his finger in his face.

Tempers reached boiling point the following over when Warne fielded a drive by Samuels and flipped the ball straight at the West Indian from close range as he stood in his crease. Samuels reacted angrily at the provocation, throwing his bat over Warne's head as the umpires rushed in to calm the situation.

It was a clear display of gamesmanship by Warne, who was trying desperately to pull his charges back into the match after they were restricted to just 146 having won the toss and electing to bat.The Renegades privately criticised Warne's behaviour as deliberately provocative and theatrical.

In what many will regard as another distasteful aspect of the stand-off, Warne was again wearing a microphone for the benefit of TV viewers and with the game going on used it to defend his actions to commentators.

"What are you meant to do when someone throws a bat at you?" he asked.

The night went from bad to worse for Samuels as he tried to hook a short ball from Malinga and top-edged it into his face. He was forced to retire hurt with blood streaming from an eye wound with only Malinga among the Stars players making obvious attempts to check on his welfare.

Warne later told the Herald Sun: Warne later tried to downplay the drama, saying he didn't expect to be disciplined by Cricket Australia. "I tried to throw the ball to Bobby Quiney and the next minute I decided to get out of the way of that bat," he said. "I'm more disappointed that we lost, that was just a heat of the moment thing. That's just the way it goes, I hope he's OK.

Samuels, acclaimed for his matchwinning display in the final of World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in Australia, has been a marked man in Australia. Darren Lehmann, the Brisbane coach, was fined for questioning the legality of his quicker ball, a theme later picked up by the Adelaide coach Darren Berry.

For Renegades, it was another impressive all-round team performance with a number of contributors with the ball leading to an easy win.

Aaron O'Brien continued his great form, conceding just 22 runs off his four overs and taking the valuable wicket of Brad Hodge. He was backed up by Darren Pattinson (2 for 12), Will Sheridan (3 for 36) and the ever-reliable Muralitharan (1 for 27) as the Stars limped to a score well below par given the pace and consistency of the pitch.

The Stars had four batsmen reach 20 but not one of them was able to convert it into a bigger score. All-rounder James Faulkner hit two massive sixes to start the final over before the Renegades took a team hat-trick to stem the flow of runs.

Finch and Alex Doolan (30 off 28) were brutal early against the Stars fast bowlers and quickly took the game away from the hosts with a 70-run partnership in just 49 balls.

The Stars will look to re-group quickly ahead of their do-or-die clash with the Sydney Thunder in Melbourne on Tuesday. The task won't be made any easier by the loss of Malinga, McKay, Hussey and Maxwell to international duty. With the Heat, Hurricanes, Strikers and Scorchers all battling for the final three spots in the semi-finals, nothing less than a win will do for the Stars.

Despite securing top place, the Renegades have problems of their own, with Finch joining the Australian team for the series against Sri Lanka and Doolan (ankle) and Samuels (face) both under injury clouds ahead of their game against the Sydney Sixers in Sydney on Wednesday.

Andrew Fuss is a freelance writer based in Adelaide

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on January 8, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    And what does all this remind us of? Packer's Circus! They hyped up that nonsense, called it World Series Cricket and encouraged the players to display the most outrageous, aggressive & "combative" behaviour. Result: peurile fisticuffs & all the rest, all put on to make it look as if the players thought the results important. The garbage masquerading as cricket in this farce they call the Big Bash will, of course, always be encouraged by commentators who know, nevertheless, how worthless it all is - ditto the officials involved. The futile attempts at putting the seal of approval retrospectively on Packer's Circus haven't worked, and I don't suppose they will with this tommy-rot either.

  • Aruna on January 7, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    @SyedAreYouDumb, I fully disagree. No, cricket must not have these incidents. It should be rather a game of strategy with talent, perseverance and sportsmanship. That makes it more enjoyable. Regardless whether your team win or not.

  • Dummy4 on January 7, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    I think Warne's actions were over the top, particularly his attitude towards the umpires. He shouldn't have grabbed Samuels' shirt, regardless of the point he was trying to make and throwing the ball to hit another player is the behaviour of a child. To me, Warne clearly breached the Spirit of Cricket.

    But I cannot believe the number of people that are trying to give Samuels a free pass on this. For a bowler to actually grab the shirt of a batsman while running is an utter disgrace. Have a read of the Laws of Cricket, Law 42 (Fair and unfair play), part 5. In doing so, he also breached the Spirit of Cricket.

    It shouldn't be a question of punishing whichever player was the 'most at fault', but of punishing EVERY player that was at fault. Samuels should NOT get a free pass just because Warne was more of an idiot.

  • Syed on January 7, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Gayle will stick up for his buddy Samuels and will reply with either the bat or by his hands lol Anyway, agree with me or not, these sorts of incidents make cricket more enjoyable- cricket currently lacks such theatrics! Im actually suprised Malinga tried to help Samuels because I remembered a similar incident during the SLPL when something similar happened and Malinga was the only one not helping the batsman. I guess this incident was revenge for what Samuels did in the T20 final :P

  • Wiqar on January 7, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    Oh come on, Samuel didn't want to hit Warne with his bat, He's an international player who can hit a small ball at 100 mph, how could have he missed the big head of Warne; It was an act of frustration after Warne hit him with the ball intentionally and Hussey-Samuels kind of things happen alot in cricket, they should not be taken to the level of grabbing and pulling and then hitting the batsman with a ball. I thought Warne was a mature guy who could handle his emotions and his emotions got better of him and he was like a little school boy. He then walked away like a chicken after Samuel got agitated.

  • Mondrita on January 7, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    They both should be ashamed. Cricket is beautiful and should be a gentleman's game. :((

  • Dummy4 on January 7, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    @auroraboy that's funny mate, I seem to recall Australia not being beaten by West Indies in a Test series for 17 years? Fat chance of that changing anytime soon with your lineup....

  • Patrick on January 7, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    Paul-Rone Clarke --> perfectly said. It is incredibly baffling that samuels was allowed to continue the game, let alone continue the tournament after such a disgraceful breach of basic cricket rules. Even a 10 year old child playing junior cricket would always know better

  • John on January 7, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    Is this the first instance of a player throwing his bat to the MCG turf since Brian McKechnie after the underarm incident of 1981 ???

  • sachit on January 7, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    Samuels probably already got his penalty already via that nasty blow - well all know that Samuels is bit of a weird guy - so Warne should have acted with more restraint given the fact that he is one of the legends. At the end of the day we see that this was yet another controversy in the careers of two somewhat notorious players.