Pietersen, bowlers shine in Stars' maiden win
By Krunal, MyCricketHighlights Cricket Writer
26th Match: Melbourne Renegades vs Melbourne Stars at Docklands Stadium, Melbourne, Jan 12 - 2018, Cricket highlights
In the reverse fixture of the Melbourne Derby, the Stars went on to defeat the Renegades by 23 runs, thereby registering their first win of BBL 2017-18.
After being asked to bat first by the Melbourne Renegades’ skipper, the Stars were off to a poor start as they lost Ben Dunk in the very first over. But after that, it was the partnership between Kevin Pietersen and Peter Handscomb that brought the Stars right back into the contest. The two built a solid foundation for a good first innings total by adding 110 runs for the second wicket.
While Pietersen played the aggressor’s role in the partnership, Handscomb rotated the strike well and was quite happy to see the former Englishman doing all the damage. Pietersen started off slowly, but once he found his timing, there was no stopping him. He was particularly severe against the likes of Brad Hogg and smashed the chinaman bowler for three sixes in two overs. Pietersen also racked up his maiden fifty of BBL 2017-18 and the way he was playing, he even had a chance of converting it into a hundred.
The Renegades then made a comeback by getting rid of both Handscomb and Pietersen in successive overs. With two new batsmen out in the centre, they were able to slide in some quiet overs and curb the flow of runs. As a result, only 21 runs came in the next four overs.
With last three overs left, it all depended on Maxwell and Faulkner to take their team to a challenging total. Dwayne Bravo could have got Maxwell out at the start of the 18th over, but Mohammad Nabi spilled a simple catch at covers and gave the batsman a life. That dropped proved to be very costly for the Renegades, as Maxwell scored 24 more runs – the Renegades eventually fell 24 runs short of the target – and helped the Stars to finish with 167 runs on the board.
The Renegades were without the services of Aaron Finch and Cameron White; and therefore, their batting had weakened a bit. Their start to the run-chase was not a good one, as they lost both their openers for just 24 runs on the board.
Matthew Short, who was given a life on the first ball of the Hastings over, was out in the very same over. The Stars’ bowlers kept things really tight and the loss of the wickets didn’t make the job easier for Bravo and Co. At the half-way mark, they lost another wicket, that of Tom Cooper, and were only able to score 58 runs.
Dwayne Bravo and Mohammad Nabi then tried to accelerate the scoring rate and added 33 runs in the next 3 overs. From Renegades’ perspective, they needed this partnership to go till the very end. But that didn’t happen as both of them got out in the 14th and 15th over, respectively.
With the dismissal of those two, the chances of Renegades to chase down the target had reduced to half. They still needed 65 to get off the last five overs, which was a very challenging task for the lower-order. Jack Wildermuth did play a cameo (23 off just 11 balls) and kept the Renegades’ hopes alive. But once he was dismissed, it was all over for the home side. They managed to score only 144 runs in their 20 overs and as a result, lost the match by 23 runs.