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Five takes from Melbourne Renegades vs Melbourne Stars

Eddie Otto Roar Pro

By Eddie Otto, Eddie Otto is a Roar Pro

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    The Stars broke through for a victory at the sixth time of asking last night beating the Renegades by 23 runs at Etihad Stadium. Here are my five main takeaways from the game.

    1. Stars get first win
    The Melbourne Stars finally broke through for their first win of BBL7 last night against their local rivals, the Renegades, at Etihad Stadium.

    The Stars were in control for much of the game, after posting 4/167, as they limited a weakened Renegades’ batting line-up to 9/143, to finally give their fans something to cheer about.

    A 110-run second wicket partnership between Kevin Pietersen (74) and Peter Handscomb (41) helped proper the Stars, before Glenn Maxwell chipped in with 31 not out from 16 balls at the death.

    Jackson Coleman then took 3/27 from four overs, whilst Daniel Worrall and John Hastings chipped in with two wickets each, as the Stars broke through at the sixth time of asking.

    The Renegades drop to 4-3 to remain just inside the Top 4, with three games remaining.

    2. Pietersen explodes
    Despite announcing this will be his final season in the BBL, Kevin Pietersen is obviously determined not to go out with a whimper as he crashed 74, last night, from just 46 balls.

    Pietersen was particularly savage on the leg side, with five towering 6s helping wrestle the early initiative in the game the Stars way, after Ben Dunk had continued his run of outs with a duck.

    Pietersen, before last night, hasn’t exactly been a flop; he just has not fully capitalised on the way he was hitting the ball. A number of starts hadn’t quite been transformed.

    However, he was a man on a mission last night, from very early, playing with an aggressive intent that the Stars’ top order have lacked throughout the tournament.

    3. Maxwell on a mission
    Glenn Maxwell is playing some of the best cricket of his career this summer, despite being snubbed by the national selectors. He was at it again last night, making a crucial 31 not out from 16 balls after the Stars’ innings had stalled once again in the latter overs.

    He topped that out with a remarkable four catches, the first being a classic, as he one-handed parried a bullet from Tim Ludeman at point, before claiming it on the second grab.

    Maxwell is averaging 37 with the bat in the BBL, at a strike rate of 145, to go with being the leading run scorer in Sheffield Shield cricket with 590 runs at an average of 74.

    His innings this year in the BBL have displayed the calmness and maturity of a man aware of his talents, but prepared to give himself a platform to build, as he has not come out swinging wildly from the first ball.

    glenn-maxwell-melbourne-stars-big-bash-league-cricket-2016-tall

    (AAP Image/Rob Blakers)

    4. Worrall and Coleman impress
    The Stars might have finally found the solution to their pace bowling woes with both the returning Daniel Worrall and Jackson Coleman picking up five wickets between them last night.

    Worrall came in for the struggling Scott Boland, who had conceded over 11 runs per over in three games this season. Worrall showcased his skills immediately, swinging the new ball prodigiously, at decent pace and with good control.

    Coleman’s 3/27 from four overs included the key wickets of openers Ludeman and Harris, as well as the biggest wicket, that of the in-form Tom Cooper.

    5. Bowling first decision baffling
    I know lots of teams like to chase in BBL cricket, and it has been a successful formula for sides with deep batting line-ups.

    However, I was baffled by the Renegades’ decision to bowl first last night given they were missing both Aaron Finch and Cameron White and, more than likely, will be for the rest of BBL7.

    The Renegades’ strength is now clearly their bowling line-up, and I would have thought the theory would be to post any sort of total, and then rely on their bowling strength in the second part of the game to put a struggling Stars’ team under pressure.

    As things turned out, I thought they gifted away the initiative, giving the Stars the chance to set a total, and not have the pressure of chasing, as a side that has lost five games straight.

    With a similar line-up, I expect a rethink of these tactics in the Renegades’ next game.

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    The Crowd Says (1)

    • January 13th 2018 @ 11:06pm
      Rob said | January 13th 2018 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

      What a waist to have Maxwell face 16 balls. Serious;y he has to bat in the top 4. If he gets to face 60 plus deliveries he will score 100 9/10 times.

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