Sixers v Renegades, BBL 2012-13, SCG January 9, 2013

Hales' blitz leads Renegades to win


Melbourne Renegades 5 for 178 (Hales 89, Rohrer 57) beat Sydney Sixers 149 (O'Keefe 41, Sheridan 3-28, Rimmington 3-28) by 29 runs

An astonishing innings from Alex Hales, studded with eight sixes, installed the Melbourne Renegades as firm favourites to claim the BBL crown and ended the Sydney Sixers' defence of their title. Hales, fresh off the plane from the UK having been flown in to replace the injured Marlon Samuels, smashed 89 from 52 balls to guide the Renegades to a match-winning total of 178 after they elected to bat. It was a one-sided affair as the Sixers fell 29 short.

Many wondered how the Renegades batting would fare without their dominant captain Aaron Finch, absent with international duties, but Hales answered that with a hailstorm of sixes - eight in all, along with five fours.

The Renegades started poorly when the out-of-form Daniel Harris faced nine balls for just one run, before being stumped off the Sri Lanka offspinner Sachithra Senanayake. Hales also began cautiously, managing three runs from his first 11 balls, before tearing into Josh Hazlewood. He clubbed two fours, two sixes, and was dropped by the bowler in his follow-through in a frenetic fifth over. Alex Doolan fell off the first ball of the next to leave the Renegades at 2 for 38 after the Powerplay.

It brought Ben Rohrer to the crease. The acting Renegades captain was released by the Sixers after the Champions League and has proved a brilliant acquisition for the Melbourne side. He continued his red-hot form, combining with Hales for a 112-run partnership in just 10.3 overs. Rohrer found the gaps while Hales peppered the crowd with big hits, with both gaining reprieves from a woeful Sixers fielding effort.

Steve O'Keefe felt the brunt of Hales' brutality. Twice in the 11th over, Hales slog swept O'Keefe into the Members Stand. Then in the 15th Hales clobbered O'Keefe again, clearing the fence four times. One landing on the roof of the Members Stand was measured at 111m, with the following ball travelling 109m in the same direction. Hales holed out to Moises Henriques in the next over but the damage was done.

Rohrer quietly passed fifty for the second time in the tournament, off just 33 deliveries. The Renegades scored 113 from the last ten overs, the anomaly being that Senanayake and Brett Lee each bowled their full quota of four overs for just 19 runs, with the other four bowlers getting smashed for more than 11 runs-per-over.

The Sixers' chase started horrendously, losing four for 46 inside seven overs. Three fell meekly pulling soft catches to midwicket. The exception was Nic Maddinson who nicked Nathan Rimmington to the keeper.

O'Keefe arrived, intent on erasing the 50 runs he conceded with the ball. He played some unorthodox strokes, found the rope five times and cleared it once. Hales gave him a life when he lost the ball in the lights at deep midwicket.

O'Keefe's unorthodoxy proved his undoing. He walked well outside the off stump to paddle Darren Pattinson fine, only to find the keeper's gloves, although replays suggested it might have been pad rather than bat causing the deflection. Daniel Smith holed out to Pattinson in the same over to give the seamer his third scalp.

Rimmington returned to clean up Senanayake and Hazlewood to also claim three wickets. The Renegades' 29-run win was all the more impressive, given the absences of Finch, Samuels, and Muttiah Muralitharan who was rested. Asylum-seeker Fawad Ahmed got an opportunity to play his first professional match in Australia, in Murali's place, to cap an uplifting night for the Melbourne side. They now wait to see who they will host a home semi-final next Tuesday.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Samuel on January 10, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Corking stuff from Hales - he really seems to have come on in leaps and bounds over the last year or so. I really hope England don't see him as just a T20 option; his first class average is the same as Joe Root's for example, no mean feat considering he opens the batting at Trent Bridge, a ground that always swings and that's coupled with the fact that Notts often roll out Championship pitches the same colour as the outfield almost! He'd make a nice, aggressive counterpoint to Cook & Trott at the top of the order. He's certainly a better long-term ODI bet than Bell or Root for me.

  • Jeff on January 10, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    Why would counties let thier players go to the IPL when it clashes with their main competition, the first class county championship? Would Manchester United let Wayne Rooney miss the first half of the premier league to go to India to play a few games of 5 a side? No? Why not? Because they get NO benefit from it. Same with the First Class players. If lets say Lumb goes to the IPL, what BENEFIT do Notts get? Only if they given financial incentives from the IPL franchise to the county of at least TEN TIMES the wages of the player (to compensate the fact the county will have spent years developing and paying the player and are not getting the rewards, ie cricket, for thier endevour), and allowed an extra overseas player of greater class than the player they are losing to the IPL, would it help the county.

  • stuart on January 10, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Have seen him play some great first class cricket.Looks to have potential and hope he does not lose his skills by playing T20 too often.he does have some class and pedigree.Unfortunately being English he won't play too much for England given Millers obsessions with the South African contingent

  • John on January 10, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (January 10 2013, 01:52 AM GMT) There was a story titles "Notts stars barred from IPL" ON Dec 21. Basically Notts didn't want their key players playing IPL at expense of playing for Notts which as you can imagine got the usual level of understanding from the IPL fans. Read it for yourself clicking on Eng home page/counties option/Notts

  • John on January 10, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    @Ketki Kolhatkar on (January 10 2013, 05:03 AM GMT), Starc has seen more international duty this year and so has been less available but Watson has barely played a game for the Sixers anyway and Warner was playing for the Thunder last year.

  • paul on January 10, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    @TontonZolaMoukoko I know but that's just England centrally contracted players, those playing for the Counties can stay the duration due to England commitments, if you remember last year Morgan was there the whole tournament without playing a game. But others like Lumb, Shah & Dimi have been their the whole tournament as well.

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    sad to see BBLs inaugural champs SydSixers bowing out even b4 semis this time :( dont know wat went wrong with them as they had almost the same team which had won them BBL-1 as well as CLt20 in south africa. they def missed mitchell starc in their lineup , as well as david warner and watson .Hopefully they wud bounce back strongly next time

  • Sean on January 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    This guy cant even get in the England team, says alot really, doesnt it?

  • Stephen on January 10, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    200ondebut, you are kidding right? Hales is a member of the England t20 squad and was facing a second/third string bowling attack. Lee and Henriques are both still okay, but not in the Aus t20 squad. Most of the top guys are out on international duty at the moment. It's also worth noting that both Sydney and Melbourne have 2 teams, whereas for ODI and 4 day tests there is only 1 team representing each state. Although there is enough talent through recruiting international players and backup players for state squads, there is still a handful of guys who had not represented their state before and are thrust into a stadium with crowds of 20-40k, keeping in mind that this tournament is only into it's second edition.

  • John on January 10, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    There may be information that I've not been privy to but, as far as I'm aware, there's no issue with English players playing in the IPL. There were some players who asked their county to allow them to play the full IPL season, which request was understandably denied. The IPL and English county seasons overlap and counties are understandably adamant that their contracted players will be available to play the county season. That makes English players less attractive to IPL franchises because they cannot play a full season. Players like KP are good enough that the IPL franchises are willing to take him as long as they can get him, but not all players are good enough to warrant that. In his current form, Hales could well be another who would be taken by an IPL franchise even though he could not commit to a full season.

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