Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Wright blasted 70 runs off just 32 balls
The Melbourne Stars got their 2013-14 Big Bash League (BBL) season off to a fantastic start as England import Luke Wright’s flamboyant knock of 70 gave them a convincing 76-run win over their arch-rivals, the Melbourne Renegades.
Wright was brilliantly supported by Stars captain Cameron White, who smashed a spectacular half-century and pace bowler Jackson Bird, who ripped through the Renegades’ batting line-up with four wickets.
Melbourne Renegades captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bowl first.
He would have been pondering over whether he made the right decision as Wright and White put together a brilliant 95-run partnership, during which Wright brought up his half-century, before being caught by William Sheridan at long-on off the bowling of Muttiah Muralitharan for 70.
Wright’s outstanding knock of 70 came off just 32 balls and included eight boundaries and an incredible five sixes.
Glenn Maxwell only managed to score 11 runs before being caught by Jayde Herrick at deep fine leg off the bowling of Finch.
White was able to bring up his half-century before being caught by Alex Doolan at deep midwicket off the bowling of Aaron O’Brien.
White’s stellar innings of 53 came off 38 balls and included three boundaries and three maximums.
Brad Hodge smashed a quickfire 30 off 19 balls, which included two boundaries and two sixes, before being dismissed caught and bowled by O’Brien.
Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade only managed to amass five runs before being clean bowled by Nathan Rimmington.
Marcus Stoinis only scored 15 runs before being caught by Tom Cooper at long-on off the bowling of Sheridan.
John Hastings was on his way back to the pavilion the very next over as he was caught by Sheridan at long-on off the bowling of Rimmington for a duck.
The Stars eventually finished on 208/7 at the end of their 20 overs.
Rimmington and O’Brien were the pick of the Renegades’ bowlers with two wickets apiece, while Sheridan, Muralitharan and Finch chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing a mammoth target of 209 to win, the Renegades got off to a poor start as Doolan was caught behind off the bowling of Clint McKay for only two runs.
Cooper failed to trouble the scorers as he was clean bowled by Bird.
Bird picked up his second wicket of the day when Ben Rohrer was caught by David Hussey at second slip for a duck.
Finch hammered a quickfire 32 off 26 balls, which included four boundaries and a six, before being brilliantly caught by Hussey at long-on off the bowling of Wright.
Bird returned with a vengeance as he claimed the wickets of Peter Nevill and Jos Buttler in successive deliveries.
Nevill was dismissed for 25, while Buttler smashed 49 off 28 balls, which included five boundaries and a six.
Nevill and Buttler’s dismissal caused a domino effect to happen as the Renegades’ lower order completely collapsed as they went from 111/6 to 132 all out.
Bird was the most successful Stars bowler with four wickets, while McKay picked up two and Hastings and Wright chipped in with one wicket apiece.