Sixers v Renegades, BBL 2012-13, SCG

Hales' blitz leads Renegades to win

The Report by Alex Malcolm

January 9, 2013

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

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
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Alex Hales hits one of eight sixes, Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades, Big Bash League, SCG, January 9, 2013
Alex Hales smashed eight sixes in his 89 © Getty Images
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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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SDHM 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.

Posted by yorkshire-86 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.

Posted by hhillbumper 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

Posted by JG2704 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

Posted by jmcilhinney 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.

Posted by Trickstar 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (January 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

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

Posted by steve_rat 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.

Posted by jmcilhinney 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.

Posted by PadMarley on (January 10, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

Senenayake is a pretty average spinner when he plays in SL... and he is making waves against Aussie batsmen.. it shows what a little bit of variation can good lines, lengths can do against Aussies!!

Posted by HatsforBats on (January 10, 2013, 1:25 GMT)

This kid looked a really promising test prospect a couple years ago but now his FC performances are going backward (I think his avg has slipped from the mid-high 40's) and his T20 form is on the rise. But you have to admit, England are looking strong for the next ODI world cup.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (January 10, 2013, 1:04 GMT)

Superb stuff alex. If you were an aussie you'd be opening for the test side.

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (January 9, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

Maybe Sydney should try to employ Jos Buttler or Jonny Bairstow next year, to try and even things out a bit. Haha.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 9, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

This guy looked the goods, & what's more appears a humble guy who loves his cricket. A far, far better option that the other guy they lost. Now that was a waste. Maybe our English fans can confirm he at least bowls with a straight arm?

Posted by TontonZolaMoukoko on (January 9, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

Trickstar - One of the main reasons why English haven't are rarely picked up in the IPL auction is the fact that due to their county/national commitments they are hardly ever available for a whole IPL season. And 200ondebut, don't sound like an English version of RandyOz or his other pal on here whose name I can't recall - the Big Bash is probably the highest quality of the T20 leagues around the world. It's just that Hales, who certainly isn't one of our second string players, is a high class performer at the top of his game. Hopefully he'll get an ODI chance in New Zealand.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 9, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

Well played Alex. The guy has to be our most improved T20 player. I read all the comms and agree it's a shame he's not in the ODI squad but if he continues to perform like this can he keep being ignored? It's a shame that (in ODIs) it's more the bowling where we seem to be lacking in depth but surely both he and Luke deserve a chance if they rest any of their top 3 or 4. Something of a turn up being caught by his Notts team mate. Also I seem to recall Luke scored the fastest ever big bash 100 last year which I don't think has been beaten since. I wonder if Hales was in with a shout for the 2nd fastest ton.

Posted by sephotrig on (January 9, 2013, 20:07 GMT)

Since england are looking for a number 4 in ODI cricket, not wanting Morgan to bat there, what about batting Hales there, or shifting the top order so he is in it, he is class. Also, wouldn't an ideal title for this be 'A Hales-torm strikes in Sydney'. Sorry about the pun.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 9, 2013, 19:42 GMT)

yorkshire-86 as far as i know they both get selected for our T20 side, patel is a part of that squad maybe not deserving of a 1st 11 team but has shown his quality at other times

Posted by 200ondebut on (January 9, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

This is indicative of the huge gulf in talent and quality between England and Oz with our second string players lighting up the event. That said, he probably faced tougher bowling growing up in his back garden than he did today.

Posted by Trickstar on (January 9, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

@ Paul Rone-Clarke I rate hales as much as anyone but I'm interested to know how Hales puts "superstars" like KP to shame, what has he done that KP hasn't done better, so far he's played he few good innings in the hit and giggle of T20, KP's done that many more times, and at big competitions like the WC, which Hales failed in for the most part, as well as his test & 50 over accomplishments. I know it's trendy to hate on KP and I'm one of Hales biggest fans but he's gonna have to have a hell of a career to put KP to shame. You're also wrong about it being some kind of unwritten rule that all counties have, not letting their players go to the IPL, all you have to do is look at the players that have played in it and also look at all the English names that put their names forward each year. Players like Dimy, Wright, Bopara, Lumb & Shah have been picked to play and their counties didn't have any problem. The problem has been English players have rarely been picked up in the auction.

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (January 9, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

Players like Hales and Lumb are proving their value getting picked as overseas stars in Australia, while England keep picking the likes of Patel who is a nothing player, and giving him life after life!

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 9, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

Drop Bell from opening Slot and install Hales over there.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

I was amazed Hales wasn't picked for the current ODI tour, he has been very consistent and puts "superstars" like Pietersen to shame. As far as the IPL comments go - It's not just Notts players who won't go to IPL. Although the other counties didn't vocalize it, these players have legal contracts - some of them for 3 years - to play for their county when IPL is on. That's all there really is to say on it, they are contracted elsewhere - end of discussion. While it might be common practice in some places to ignore contracts or have a 12 week sulk if your employer won't let you go (Chris Gayle), that doesn't happen a lot in the UK

Posted by   on (January 9, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

I have just watched the highlights of the Hales innings and it was superb, probably the best I'v seen from the Big Bash thus far. The innings came as no surprise because in his short international career to date he has emerged as one of the brightest prospects for the future. It is extremely unfortunate that Hales is not currently in the full ODI side. He has arrived on the scene when the top order looks well established with Cook, Bell and Pietersen. If he is to break into the ODI side he will have to adopt a different role from which he is used to.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 9, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

i have no problems with the ipl to give contracts to who they want, and not every every english player is made available to play in that competition.but as seen today if given the chance they perform.but why do they keep on picking average aussies. both pakistan and england have some very good t20 players who dont get selected.players like dan christian who are useless and they are only good at smashing changing rooms this guy get a massif ipl contract and the only thing i can say is why.

Posted by swat1999 on (January 9, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

Hales one of the most destructive batsman for England. He should be with England national squad for ODI's. I just enjoy his batting

Posted by Trickstar on (January 9, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

@ jmcilhinney He plays for Notts doesn't he so he won't be going to the IPL anytime soon, after all their players were banned from putting their names forward by their Coach Newell. I'm surprised England didn't take him over for the one dayers in India, especially as he's a far better one day batsmen than Root and Patel and could provide that hitting ability down the order that we sometimes need.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 9, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

England should try hales in ODI too, bell is good in this season, but he is perrineal failure in odis. Better blood new batsmen keeping world cup in mind. I hope Soon Hales start opening with Cook in ODIs. With World Cup 2015 in Mind England should try to take Hales, Root, Bairstow and Buttler in team with Cook, KP and Morgan it will be nice team. and 3 Pacers Finn, Woakes and Meaker and spinner Briggs/Swann. Hales, Root, Cook, KP, Bairstow, Morgan, Buttler, Swann/Briggs, Woakes, Meaker, Finn. Root can be transformed into spinning allrounder.

Posted by TurningSquare on (January 9, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

Hales perfectly represents the new generation of England batsmen who'll help us put up a real challenge in the World Cup for once!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 9, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

As a city, Melbourne certainly gets bragging rights over Sydney this year where T20 is concerned. At least one of the Sydney teams, preferably both, had better seriously lift their game next year or we may see BBL popularity start to decline in the city.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 9, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

Alex Hales is fast becoming one of the best T20 batsman in the world. I'm sure that there will be any number of IPL franchises interested in his services. The question is whether they would be prepared to take him on for just a portion of the season. The way he's playing at the moment, the answer may be yes. I really think that England need to find a way to get him into the ODI team, even if it's not as an opener. They've got Root in the squad at the moment, seemingly because of his level-headed approach against spin in the last Test, but if they're going to play an opener out of position in ODIs then I'd say that Hales is probably a better option.

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