Renegades clinch maiden BBL title amid extraordinary Stars implosion
Melbourne Renagades clinched their maiden Big Bash League title. (Image courtesy: Renagades' Twitter)

Melbourne Renegades clinched their maiden Big Bash League title after Melbourne Stars imploded in their chase of 146 to lose seven wickets for 19 runs. Glenn Maxwell‘s Stars finished on 132 for 7, handing Renegades a win by 13 runs with Chris Tremain, Cameron Boyce and Daniel Christian picking up two wickets each.

The Stars were cruising at one stage, reaching 93 without loss in the 12th over, needing another 53 off just 43 balls. Openers Ben Dunk and Marcus Stoinis were scoring at a strike-rate of over a 100 before their dismissals triggered an extraordinary collapse. Peter Handscomb was dealt a two-ball duck while Maxwell scored 1 off 6. Seb Gotch, Dwayne Bravo and Nic Maddinson could score just nine runs combined, as the Stars batsmen fell in a heap.

It wasn’t all hunky dory for the Stars despite the openers putting on a formidable show. The Renegades bowlers kept in tight in the first 10 overs, and Dunk and Stoinis, aware of the target, were scoring just at the required run rate at just over seven runs per over. The first instance in which more than one boundary/six was scored in an over was the 12th, an indication of just how disciplined the Renegades were in their defence.

With just 36 runs scored in the Powerplay, Dunk and Stoinis were far from stepping on the pedal. Dunk, fresh off two golden ducks in his last two appearances at the Marvel Stadium, brought up a 38-ball half-century, while Stoinis looked to be setting himself up for a flourish, one that never quite came as he was cleaned up by Boyce. In his next over, Boyce added the wicket of Stoinis’ opening partner, Dunk to his tally, and that was it. In a space of six runs and three balls, the wheels came off. Adam Zampa hit a four and a six to remain unbeaten on 17 off 10 to the Stars close but that’s all he could manage.

The Renegades were in a bit of a spot themselves, being reduced to 65 for 5, courtesy Jackson Bird’s fiery opening burst and Zampa’s leg spin. It was only after Christian and Tom Cooper led a spirited recovery that lifted the Renegades to a total worth defending. The two batsmen added an unbeaten 80-run stand, 54 of which came in the final five with Christian and Cooper unleashing a staggering assault. This, when the 18th over bowled by Bravo accounted for just three runs.

Bird, back for the final made the initial breakthroughs, removing opener Marcus Harris and Sam Harper. Aaron Finch had reached 13 off 10 with two strokeful boundaries but just when one thought the skipper had something special for the final, he was run out by a stunning piece of fielding from Bird. Zampa once again proved his credentials as to why he is not easy to get away with in the BBL, taking out Cameron White and Mackenzie Harvey in successive overs to leave the Renegades gasping for air, before Cooper and Christian bailed them out.

Fittingly enough, for his all-round performance in the high-octane final, Christian was adjudged Player of the Match.

Brief scores: Melbourne Renegades 145/5 in 20 overs (Tom Cooper 43, Daniel Christian 38*; Adam Zampa 2-21) beat Melbourne Stars 132/7 in 20 overs (Ben Dunk 57; Chris Tremain 2-21) by 13 runs.