Finch Out To Stop Star-Studded Stars

Image courtesy of news.com.au
Aaron Finch starred for the Renegades last season in two wins over the Stars. Image courtesy of news.com.au

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Renegades big gun Aaron Finch summed this match up well earlier this week when he stated the Stars have all of the high profile players and his team will try to fly under the radar again. The less marketable Melbourne side did that to perfection last season, going all the way to the semi-finals before a Luke Pomersbach-inspired Brisbane Heat scored a surprise 15-run win at Docklands.

Finch is probably one player who can’t talk about flying under the radar this season after his T20 exploits over the past 12 months. He set the competition alight in the corresponding match last season, smashing an unbeaten 111 off 65 balls to steer his team to a shock eight-wicket win over the talent-laden Stars. He was the prime mover as the Renegades won the second clash between the teams at the MCG by nine wickets, in a match probably best remembered for an almost comical confrontation between Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels. That’s not to mention the world record T20 international score of 156 he smashed against England earlier this year.

The Stars also have a weapon at the top of the order with England all-rounder Luke Wright returning for the Big Bash. He was second only to countryman Michael Lumb in terms of strike rate in the first six overs of the innings last season. He has some heavy artillery behind him, as well; even now at 38 years of age, Brad Hodge is still a T20 star. He has averaged just a touch off 50 in each of the first two editions of the tournament.

The Stars were 3-1 at home at the MCG last season, with the only loss coming in the cross-town encounter with the Renegades, with the latter finishing with the same record at rival grounds. The green side of Melbourne will be without its strike weapon with the ball, Lasith Malinga, as he has national team duties with Sri Lanka taking on Pakistan in Sharjah. Fringe Test player James Faulkner will also be missing after he broke his thumb prior to the third Ashes encounter in Perth.

The Renegades have ageless spinner Muttiah Muralitharan back for another campaign. He wasn’t the thorn in the Stars’ side last season like fellow tweaker Aaron O’Brien was. The left-armer took 2/27 in the first match-up and then opened the innings in the second encounter, collecting the wicket of Brad Hodge on the way to a miserly return of 1/22 off his four overs. 

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