Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade (AFP Photo)

Matthew Wade continued his excellent form in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) as he struck a quickfire half-century to help secure the top spot for Hobart Hurricanes as they beat Melbourne Renegades by 16 runs on Thursday.

Wade’s fifty, his sixth such score of the season, came after he was overlooked for the Australia limited-overs squad for India tour. The Hurricanes skipper scored 30-ball 58 with six fours and four sixes in a score of 183/6 in reply to which Renegades managed 167/8 with Tom Copper making the top contribution, hitting 44 off 34.

With the win, Hurricanes have also ensured a home semi-final.

After being put in to bat first at the Bellerive Oval, Hurricanes were given a solid start by the opening pair of Wade and D’Arcy Short. They added 87 runs inside nine overs before Renegades hit back with three quick dismissals.

Kane Richardson struck twice in an over to account for Wade and Short (28). Mohammed Nabi then dismissed Caleb Jewell cheaply on 4 to leave Hurricanes 97/3.

Ben McDermott and Simon Milenko played handy cameos to ensure a challenging total. McDermott struck an unbeaten 39 off 30 with two fours and a six while Milenko scored 27 off 14 with three fours and a six.

Riley Meredith then bowled a nightmare of a first over as he leaked 23 runs in it after conceding just one off the first three deliveries. He delivered a no ball that followed five wides before two straight no balls resulted in 10 runs. After a brief chat with teammates, Meredith found his footing to bowl three straight legal deliveries the last of which resulted in four leg byes.

However, Renegades failed to capitalise on the start as opener Marcus Harris holed out for 3 with the scorecard reading 37. Aaron Finch and Simon Harper then steered the innings forward but debutant Qaise Ahmed struck in his first over. He had the big fish Finch hole out to McDermott on 35 and from thereon, the chase never came back on track.

The hosts kept hitting with regular blows with Jofra Archer, D’ Arcy Short and Qais Ahmad finishing with a couple of wickets each.

Brief Scores: Hobart Hurricanes 183/6 (Matthew Wade 58, Ben McDermott 39*; Harry Gurney 2/40) beat Melbourne Renegades 167/8 (Tom Cooper 44, Aaron Finch 35; Jofra Archer 2/19) by 16 runs