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A ferocious blitz from 20-year-old Mackenzie Harvey led the Melbourne Renegades to a stunning derby victory that kept alive their hopes of avoiding a second straight Big Bash League wooden spoon and dealt a blow to the Melbourne Stars' finals hopes.
With his side's run chase petering out as he came to the crease, Harvey turned the game on its head, smacking Stars quicks Nathan Coulter-Nile and Liam Hatcher around Marvel Stadium.
The Renegades had needed 71 from 37 balls when he arrived, but Harvey was up to the task, posting the highest score of his fledgling career (47 not out from 21 balls) to lead his side to just its third win of the season. Beau Webster (22 not out from nine) played a crucial cameo, hitting the winning runs off Hatcher via a four over deep mid-wicket as the Renegades won with two balls and five wickets to spare.
The Renegades had earlier worked themselves into a strong position, with the Stars falling to 6-117 when Hilton Cartwright was bowled by Peter Hatzoglou off the penultimate ball of the 17th over. But dropped in the deep by both Jake Fraser-McGurk and Webster during the 19th over, Nick Larkin accelerated late to finish with 61 not out from 47 balls, leading the Stars to a total of 6-158 from their 20 overs.Advertisement
Back from injury, Coulter-Nile bowled Shaun Marsh with a ripsnorter in the first over of the chase. Having already succumbed in bizarre fashion a couple of times this season, Australian white-ball captain Aaron Finch found another strange way to get himself out, deflecting the ball off his pad and onto the stumps while trying to sweep Stars spinner Zahir Khan, falling for 10 from 14 balls. Finch has just 169 runs at 15 and a strike rate of 113 for the tournament.
The Stars continued to apply the clamps, claiming the Bash Boost point by restricting the Renegades to just 53 runs in 10 overs. With their veterans back on the sidelines, the hosts' chase looked doomed before Harvey let loose, with the Renegades winning from the clouds – just as they did against the Stars at this venue in the final two seasons ago.
Sporting a haircut and black headband which made him resemble a gritty Spanish clay-courter, Renegades youngster Zak Evans made his impression felt by taking the first wicket of his BBL career when Marcus Stoinis picked out Fraser-McGurk at deep midwicket. But having waited until his fourth match to pick up his maiden BBL scalp, Evans got his second wicket immediately, skittling pinch-hitter Coulter-Nile for a golden duck. Glenn Maxwell survived the hat-trick ball but made just one from four balls before being plucked in the deep off the bowling of Imad Wasim, continuing the Stars captain's underwhelming run.
Save for one blistering innings last Friday night against the Adelaide Strikers, West Indian opener Andre Fletcher has flattered to deceive for the Stars this summer. Wednesday night yielded another disappointing performance from the Grenadian. He played out a maiden to Josh Lalor to open proceedings, before eventually being bowled for 11 from 14 balls. Fletcher confirmed earlier this week that he would be departing Australia following the Stars' game against the Perth Scorchers on Saturday night to play in the T10 league in the UAE.
The Renegades hardly needed anything else to go against them this tournament but the bad news continued in the lead-up to this game. Overseas players Noor Ahmad (side strain) and Rilee Rossouw (hamstring) were both ruled out for the remainder of the tournament. Then it emerged that pace spearhead Kane Richardson would take no further part in the season because of a quad complaint.SaveLog in, register or subscribe to save articles for later.License this article
Daniel is an Age sports reporterLoading