Melbourne Renegades 139 for 4 (Marsh 64*, Fraser-McGurk 42, Coulter-Nile 2-25) beat Melbourne Stars 137 for 8 (Cartwright 38, Richardson 2-17, Hosein 2-18) by six wickets
Aaron Finch enjoyed a winning farewell despite a third-ball duck, as his Melbourne Renegades side dealt a massive blow to local rivals Melbourne Stars’ BBL finals hopes.
A total of 41,205 people at Marvel Stadium witnessed an anti-climactic finale with the bat from former Australia captain Finch, who came charging down the pitch and skied an easy catch to his old mate Glenn Maxwell at mid-off. Maxwell didn’t celebrate as Finch walked off to great acclaim, raising his bat to acknowledge the ovation from the crowd.
Finch, Renegades’ all-time leading scorer, had his team jersey number retired before the game. And Renegades at least gave him the proper send-off. Chasing Stars’ 137 for 8 on a tricky pitch offering assistance to spinners and quicks, they achieved their target with six wickets and 16 balls to spare.
They stumbled in the Power Surge but veteran Shaun Marsh (64 not out off 49 balls) and Jonathan Wells (14 not out off 15) steered them to victory with an unbroken 46-run stand to lift Renegades off the bottom of the table.
The loss left fifth-placed Stars a point behind Adelaide Strikers, who will wrap up fourth spot if they beat Sydney Thunder in Canberra on Sunday.
Marsh and Jake Fraser-McGurk (42 off 31) played and missed a number of times, as the Stars seamers exploited the favourable conditions, but added 68 for the second wicket after Finch’s fall.
Renegades looked in control at the halfway stage at 74 for 1 after taking 16 runs off the tenth over. But they lost three wickets in the Power Surge, which they took immediately after the mid-innings break.
Four Stars players passed 20 in their innings, but Hilton Cartwright (38 off 30 balls) was the only one to pass 30.
Finch’s old housemate, Victoria and Australia colleague Maxwell briefly threatened to be a party pooper as he blasted his way to 20 off ten balls. He blasted 16 off three successive balls in Tom Rogers’ second over, but was out the next over.
Quicks Rogers and Kane Richardson (2 for 17 off four overs) each picked up a wicket with their first delivery, after Renegades raced to 21 off the first two overs. West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein (2 for 18 off four), playing in the first of just two BBL games for Renegades, extracted significant turn from a receptive pitch.