Lumb, Henriques fifties lift Sixers to second win
Sydney Sixers 7 for 174 (Lumb 63, Henriques 62, Rimmington 4-26) beat Melbourne Renegades 4 for 172 (Gayle 46, Bravo 45*, Beaton 41*) by three wickets
A record century partnership between Moises Henriques and Michael Lumb engineered Sydney Sixers' successful run chase to inflict Melbourne Renegades' first loss of the BBL at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Chasing a daunting total of 173 on a two-paced pitch conjuring inconsistent bounce, Sixers' chances of victory looked forlorn when they lost dangerous duo of Brad Haddin (caught behind for a golden duck) and Nic Maddison (17) early to slump to 2 for 21 in the 4th over. But Sixers captain Henriques (62 off 38 balls) and English import Lumb (63 from 35 balls) combined for a 101-run partnership off 57 balls to drastically alter the match's complexion. It was the highest third-wicket partnership in Sixers history.
Henriques' dismissal with just 20 runs needed triggered a Sixers collapse, as they lost 4 for 12 in a dramatic 12 balls to be delicately positioned at 7 for 165 with two overs remaining. But Trent Lawford and Sean Abbott calmly guided the Sixers to victory with seven balls to spare in the team's highest ever successful run chase.
Renegades paceman Nathan Rimmington tried valiantly and finished with 4 for 26. But the match-winners proved to be Lumb and Henriques, who scored a staggering 50 runs from three overs in the middle overs to turn the game on its head. Lumb looked especially menacing throughout, hitting five sixes in his innings, including three off one Xavier Doherty over.
Henriques played the anchor role during the partnership but shifted gears when Lumb was dismissed. He struck the ball cleanly and seemed likely to guide his team to victory before throwing his wicket away with a heave.
The successful chase was what Henriques envisioned when he won the toss and elected to bowl. No Renegades batsman made a half-century but an even spread ensured they mustered an imposing 4 for 172 amid somewhat favourable bowling conditions. Tom Beaton and Dwayne Bravo provided the late fireworks in a devastating 40-ball 78 run partnership, blasting 68 runs off the final five overs to regain the initiative after Sixers dominated the middle overs through tight and disciplined bowling.
Beaton was particularly impressive in his late cameo of 41 from 23 balls, which included two sixes. Bravo started slowly and struggled with his timing before finding his rhythm towards the end, punctuated by a huge six over midwicket off Sixers paceman Doug Bollinger in the last over of the innings.
It was a highly impressive comeback after the Renegades had earlier slumped to 4 for 94 in the 14th over when Matthew Wade was bowled playing on to a Sean Abbott delivery. Renegades lost 3 for 20 in the middle overs after starting briskly as dynamic West Indian opener Chris Gayle threatened to produce a trademark assault. Looking uncertain against hostile bowling from Bollinger, Gayle started slowly scoring just six from 11 balls and was lucky to survive a skied miscued pull shot that somehow landed between two fielders.
Renowned for his brutish batting, Gayle was content nudging the ball around for singles early in his innings before bludgeoning pacemen Sean Abbott for consecutive towering sixes in the eighth over, with the latter smashing into the second tier over long-on.
Gayle dominated a 56-run second-wicket partnership with Cameron White (15), and seemed intent on a big score that alluded him in the Renegades' opening match against the Heat. Despite teasing, Gayle could not produce a substantial score falling for a 33-ball 46 in Johan Botha's first over, the 11th of the innings.
Left-armer Steve O'Keefe, who has played Test cricket for Australia, was not used, while Botha only bowled two overs. The Sixers missed Nathan Lyon, who returned to the Test squad fresh from his five-wicket haul against Hurricanes in the last game, but were still able to produce a thrilling victory.