21st Match (N), Melbourne (Docklands), December 26, 2021, Big Bash League
(16.5/20 ov, T:152) 152/2

Scorchers won by 8 wickets (with 19 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
42* (33) & 1/18

Munro and Marsh make it six out of six for Perth Scorchers

Mills, Behrendorff and Agar also put in starring roles as Melbourne Renegades are brushed aside

Mitchell Marsh continued his golden run of form  •  Getty Images

Mitchell Marsh continued his golden run of form  •  Getty Images

Perth Scorchers 2 for 152 (Munro 58*, Marsh 42*, Maddinson 1-5) beat Melbourne Renegades 8 for 151 (Harvey 45, Behrendorff 2-19, Mills 2-36, Agar 2-38) by eight wickets
All-conquering Perth Scorchers continued to march through this BBL season after once again defeating Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium.
Having defeated Renegades by 21 runs at the same venue just four days ago, Scorchers were even more clinical in their sixth straight victory. They restricted Renegades with a stifling effort with the ball before cruising in their chase as Mitchell Marsh continued his purple patch.
The game was shifted from Optus Stadium in Perth due to Western Australia's strict Covid-19 border controls, which has anchored Scorchers permanently on the road.
Disciplined Scorchers relish bowling first
Scorchers had dominated their opening five games through a well-worn formula: Win the bat flip, post a strong total and then defend it with aplomb. But their preferred strategy was upended when they lost the bat flip for the first time this season and had to bowl.
It didn't affect them as Scorchers exacted revenge on Aaron Finch and Nic Maddinson, who had been rare batters to cause the league leaders pain this season. They had spent the days between games devising plans for Maddinson and attacked him by bowling full and straight. It did the trick as a frustrated Maddinson erred when presented with a shorter delivery from Tymal Mills.
Scorchers then ran through the middle order but they would have been disappointed with a lacklustre ending where they went through the motions and perhaps looked a little overconfident. They leaked 42 runs in the last three overs but it only proved a brief lapse.
Renegades' batting appears flimsy
Renegades had hoped the dashing return of Finch last start would be the turning point for a season spiralling out of control. The T20 World Cup winning captain, however, could not replicate his big-hitting antics, falling early with a big blow that almost hit the closed roof - which would have counted as a six - only to land safely in the hands of Marsh.
With Maddinson failing to fire this time, Renegades' batting fell away; youngsters Jack Fraser-McGurk and Will Sutherland underwhelming once again while veteran Mohammad Nabi's wretched season continued.
Mackenzie Harvey, who again impressed with a top-score of 45, unfathomably was run-out to a direct hit from Laurie Evans, the batter far too casual in completing a single. Scorchers again dominated the power surge - taking their customary three wickets - only for Renegades' tail to wag at the death.
Marsh steers comfortable Scorchers chase
After being close to Ashes selection, Josh Inglis has struggled so far this season but he was determined to emerge from that rut tonight. He smoked two early sixes off quicks James Pattinson and Reece Topley in a confident start with fellow opener Cameron Bancroft also pressuring Renegades with sharp running between the wickets.
Inglis, however, could not build on his promising start as he failed to pick star spinner Zahir Khan's wrong'un and was stumped while Bancroft departed shortly after. There was no reason to panic for Scorchers with Marsh continuing his red-hot form and he combined well with belligerent Colin Munro, who mostly shed the pyrotechnics until shifting gears with victory in sight.
Marsh combined trademark power with sweet touch to again thwart Zahir and underline his growing maturity which has propelled him into being arguably the in-form T20 batter in the world.
He fittingly hit the winning runs to wrap up the game at 12.15am local time.
Renegades' season is slipping away
Renegades had worked on their plans to try to do the seemingly impossible and halt Marsh with a slew of slower paced deliveries. He did misjudge one from Sutherland, which cannoned into his helmet, but other than that adjusted well to put on a match-winning 99-run stand with Munro.
Last season's wooden spooners remain anchored at the bottom of the ladder with just one win from five games. Their attack desperately missed veteran Kane Richardson, who was out due to illness, and there was a worrying malaise about them in the field, as if the Scorchers had just sapped their spirit.
In another potential headache for Renegades - and Australia - Finch moved around gingerly in the field having only just returned from a knee injury.

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

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Over 17 • PS 152/2

Scorchers won by 8 wickets (with 19 balls remaining)
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