Melbourne Renegades 9 for 153 (Harvey 56, Siddle 3-42, Garton 2-23, Worrall 2-26) beat Adelaide Strikers 8 for 151 (Nielsen 30, Zahir 3-24, Sutherland 2-13) by 2 runs

Melbourne Renegades banished the ghosts of their wooden-spoon finish last season with a stirring two-run victory over Adelaide Strikers, a triumph marked by eye-catching performances from their youngsters.

However, it was veteran quick James Pattinson who stood up when it counted, with a superb final over in which he conceded just six runs as the Renegades defended their seemingly modest 9 for 153 under the roof at Marvel Stadium.

The Renegades reined in a weakened Strikers batting order and were sparked by a spectacular catch from teenager Jake Fraser-McGurk. It capped an impressive all-round effort from an inexperienced side, which was led with the bat by the new opening pair of Mackenzie Harvey and Sam Harper, while young gun Will Sutherland had an impact with the ball.

Fraser-McGurk does his best Maxwell impression
The highly touted Fraser-McGurk, who missed out with the bat, has been likened as a fielder to Glenn Maxwell - a lofty comparison he well justified with an incredible acrobatic one-handed catch on the boundary to dismiss Jake Weatherald. Quite fittingly, he was wearing No. 23 because his high-flying heroics were reminiscent of NBA greats Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

It inspired the Renegades, who put the clamps on in the middle overs through the accuracy of Zahir Khan. Ryan Gibson had to retire hurt in the 14th over after injuring his hamstring completing a single as the Strikers lost steam.

The Strikers finally took the power surge in the 18th over and it paid dividends with 24 runs coming in two overs. But Pattinson held his nerve in a nerve-jangling final over with Daniel Drew unable to hit a six off the last ball to win the match.

Renegades' young openers stand up
Without new skipper Nic Maddinson, Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, the Renegades' batting line-up looked fragile and they needed a good start after electing to bat. Harper and Harvey obliged with a 65-run partnership.

It wasn't necessarily pretty, with the pair mustering just 22 runs in the four-over powerplay. Harper, who has struggled in the Sheffield Shield this season, was out of sync and his innings was a bit frenzied, marked by a slew of swings and misses.

He was fortunate to have survived on 8 when bamboozled by a Rashid Khan googly only to be reprieved by a missed stumping from wicketkeeper Harry Nielsen, who replaced Ashes bound Alex Carey. It seemed to relax Harper, who took a liking to quicks Peter Siddle and Wes Agar with a six off the latter bringing up a 50-run stand.

Harper fell shortly after to a sharp return catch by Matthew Short, but Harvey, who mostly played orthodox shots, calmly reached his maiden BBL half-century before being cleaned up by Rashid. The Renegades would have been satisfied with their new-look opening combination.

Strikers' quicks dominate at the death
The Strikers, as per the norm, have been mostly overlooked in the lead-up to the season marked by the expected lengthy absences of Carey and Travis Head. Concern also revolves around an unfancied attack reliant on the brilliance of Rashid, but they limited the Renegades to a total under the average score of 165 batting first at Marvel Stadium.

The Strikers appeared under pressure when debutant James Seymour decided to go for broke and the in-form 29-year-old, who scored a ton in the Sheffield Shield last month, smashed a six off his first ball. But his dismissal for 23 off 14 balls triggered a collapse as the Renegades lost six wickets for nine runs to fall short of a big total.

Stand-in skipper Siddle, veteran Daniel Worrall, and English import George Garton got the better of the flustered Renegades batters with a succession of slower balls. They would have pleased coach Jason Gillespie, one of the most astute tacticians in the business, with the way they executed their plans.

Short goes on the offensive
Short has teased for some time but underachieved with an average of less than 15 across 34 innings, but here, the 26-year-old torched English quick Reece Topley and Pattinson with two massive sixes sailing into the second tier.

He had a life on 26 when dropped by Pattinson and fell shortly later to Zahir with the spinner thrown the ball by stand-in skipper Kane Richardson in the fifth over. Still, Short did enough in 18 balls to suggest he could finally realise his potential.

But, in a close game, the Strikers will be left pondering whether they utilised the power surge too late.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth and writes on sports for the Guardian and mailerreport