Melbourne Renegades 3 for 165 (White 79*, Harris 50, Archer 2-17) beat Hobart Hurricanes 8 for 164 (McDermott 34, Short 34, Bravo 5-28) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The Melbourne Renegades recruited spree-turned heads during the off-season but it was some familiar faces that orchestrated a comprehensive first-up win over the Hobart Hurricanes. Dwayne Bravo became the first man to 400 T20 wickets and showed how valuable a commodity he is with his second five-wicket haul in T20 cricket to restrict the Hurricanes to a sub-par 164.
Then Cameron White wound back the clock with a vintage unbeaten 79 to guide his side home with nine balls to spare. He was ably supported by Marcus Harris (50 off 34) and Renegade-turned-Striker-turned-Renegade Brad Hodge (22* off 14).
It was Bravo who set the game up after the Renegades elected to bowl at the toss. He bowled four one over spells, all of which dragged the Hurricanes back after they threatened to post an enormous total on an excellent batting surface.
The new opening pairing of D'Arcy Short and Alex Doolan raced to 48 after five overs before Bravo's mix of slower balls firstly yielded three dots to Doolan and then took him out, caught at short third man while trying a big shot down the ground. Short's troubles against spin compared to his class against pace was evident when Brad Hogg slid one into his front pad as he tried awkwardly to sweep off an ill-advised length.
Ben McDermott and George Bailey then ripped into Hogg, taking 22 from the 11th over of the innings to move the total to a healthy 2 for 102.
Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi delivered an excellent over of offspin in the 12th conceding just four runs. The Hurricanes went 17 balls without a boundary before McDermott was caught off a Bravo slower ball.
The Hurricanes spluttered from there with Nabi bowling four overs for just 25 and picking up Bailey. Matthew Wade was the only one to hit Bravo over the rope before he became the seamer's fifth victim off the final ball of the innings.
The Renegades chase started horribly with Aaron Finch falling in the first over. White and Harris then combined for a 113-run stand, weathering the Hurricanes battery of express pace bowlers with some sound scoring plans and a touch of good fortune. They used the pace and waited for loose deliveries rather than trying to fight fire with fire.
Jofra Archer was only Hurricanes bowler not to concede more than nine an over. He took 2 for 17 from four overs including a rare gem of a double-wicket maiden in the 14th to give the Renegades chase the speed wobbles.
But Hodge, fresh from facing military mediums on synthetic pitches in sub-district cricket in Melbourne, launched the second ball he faced, a 140-plus kph rocket from Aaron Summers, onto the hill to ease the pressure.
White went about his work with a minimum of fuss, as he has done so often in his career. On another day he would have been a worthy Man of the Match, but that honour went to Bravo.