Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Melbourne Stars 4 for 153 (Stoinis 43, Larkin 43, Richardson 2-24) beat Melbourne Renegades 150 (Harper 63, Hatcher 3-29) by six wickets
Glenn Maxwell's Stars lost the Bash Boost point but won the Melbourne derby comfortably enough over Aaron Finch's Renegades at the MCG on Sunday. An all-round bowling effort led by Liam Hatcher and 40s from Marcus Stoinis and Nick Larkin took them to a six-wicket win, which put them in third place on the BBL points table.
Sam Harper's 63 for the Renegades went in vain as they collapsed from 78 for 1 in the tenth over to 150 all out after opting to bat first, allowing the Stars to make up for a slow start before they won with five balls to spare.
It was the Renegades' ninth defeat in 11 games this season. The Stars are behind second-placed Sydney Thunder (also on 23 points) only on net run-rate, although only four points separate the teams between No. 2 and No. 7 with the Sydney Sixers well ahead on 32.
Renegades' (brief) recovery after Finch duck
Maxwell bowled to his ODI captain Finch in the first over, and knocked the stumps back off his second ball when Finch missed a slog altogether. Harper at No. 3 and the other opener Shaun Marsh then put on a 78-run stand in 59 deliveries that took them through to almost the tenth over.
Harper took the early risks, hitting Maxwell straight down for four and paddle scooping Billy Stanlake (2 for 28) for six in the first two overs. Marsh then joined in on the fun, pulling Maxwell for four and depositing Afghanistan left-arm wristspinner Zahir Khan (2 for 23) for a six into the sightscreen, and as the tenth over approached, it looked like the Renegades' recovery was truly complete. But two balls before the halfway stage of the innings, Stanlake, who had been wayward earlier, bowled short, and forced Marsh to find deep midwicket, dismissing him for a 21-ball 24.
Renegades fizzle out in final ten
At 79 for 2 after ten overs - with Harper set on a solid batting surface - the Renegades looked good for a big total. But Zahir's second spell began with a wicket as he bowled Jake Fraser-McGurk. The fourth-wicket stand between Harper, who by now had reached his half-century in 40 balls, and Mackenzie Harvey (29) then showed some promise, with the latter smoking Maxwell for 13 runs in the 14th over. Harvey then showed both force and guile as he took on Hatcher (3 for 29) in the 15th over, even nearly putting a hole in the sightscreen with a six and then playing a late cut behind point. But the late cut also ended Harvey's innings as a mistimed attempt at the same shot off Hatcher clipped the top of off. At that stage, the Renegades were 4 for 120 with five overs to go.
However, it all went downhill from there. Zahir once again rattled the stumps as Beau Webster missed putting a short ball away. Stanlake removed Harper for 63 in the 18th over as he looked to improvise off a short ball with the run rate plummeting, only to get an edge to the wicketkeeper. Hatcher then got Will Sutherland and Kane Richardson in the 19th over, giving Adam Zampa a crack in the last six balls. Zampa's wrong'un in the fourth ball got Imad Wasim to mistime a catch to long-on and the Renegades lost their tenth wicket to a run-out when Pete Hatzoglou failed to complete a second run the following ball. The Renegades made 8 for 72 in their last ten, setting the Stars 151 to win the Melbourne deby.
Stoinis starts, Larkin ends
An arm restricted Andre Fletcher and he was caught at point for 7 for Sutherland's first wicket of the match. Maxwell, at No. 3, then struggled to find his range but Stoinis struck five fours and two sixes to romp to a 32-ball 43, which kept the Stars in touch with the required run-rate. However, Stoinis' dismissal in the ninth over meant a brief dip in the scoring rate, and that allowed the Renegades to take the Bash Boost point since the Stars could only reach 2 for 76 in ten overs.
Maxwell's uncharacteristic innings of 20 in 19 balls ended in the 15th when he pulled Richardson (2 for 24) fine to Hatzoglou but Larkin found the occasional boundary, ensuring he saw off the tricky overs from Imad and Noor Ahmed. Richardson did dismiss Larkin for a 32-ball 43 in the 17th over as the batsman's flick took a leading edge, but by then, the Stars needed only 28 in 3.2 overs. Nic Maddinson (20*) released the pressure with a six off the first delivery of the 18th over, and Hilton Cartwright (12*) ended the 19th over with a four off Noor. That left the Stars needing four off the final over, and the first ball from Imad was hammered by Maddinson over the umpire's head to seal a comfortable win.
Hatcher three-for, 40s from Stoinis and Larkin help Stars win Melbourne derby
Win helps Stars move up to third spot, while Renegades continue to languish at the bottom
Aaron Finch returns to the top in bid for positive end to 'difficult' BBL
The captain bemoans losing small moments and says he has been too timid at the crease