Melbourne Rivals Take Two

Image courtesy of news.com.au
Aaron Finch has bagged two straight 50s. Image courtesy of news.com.au
The Melbourne Stars have swept all before them so far in BBL03, but their biggest struggle surprisingly came against the competition’s cellar dweller Sydney Thunder last start. The Stars struggled to reel in Thunder’s score of 155 getting there with just five balls remaining thanks to a vintage innings from evergreen Brad Hodge . The drop-in pitch at Etihad Stadium plays better than the one at Homebush, but it will be interesting to see how the league leader fares on a tackier pitch than they’re used to at the MCG.

After two losses to start the tournament, the Renegades have come back to life with comprehensive wins over Hobart and Brisbane. They’re nowhere near a one-man team, but it is no surprise that the wins have come with skipper Aaron Finch posting a couple of scores. He made 81 in the thumping win over Heat before backing that up with an even 50 against the Hurricanes. Michael Hill showed he might be a diamond in the rough in BBL03 making 40 off 29 in his first appearance for the Renegades as he and Finch slammed 93 off the first 9.2 overs for the opening wicket in Tasmania.

The most exciting aspect of the Renegades’ last two wins, though, has been the return of James Pattinson . He started in horrible fashion his first over against Brisbane, but he has picked up seven scalps since then, including a super-impressive 4/24 against Hobart. He has been named in Australia’s ODI squad but he is with the Melbourne side until he goes in to camp. Nathan Rimmington currently leads all wicket-takers in the Bash with eight poles but Pattinson is on his hammer after just a couple of games.

It was all the Stars in the round one derby clash between the teams, and it was England all-rounder Luke Wright doing the damage smoking 70 off just 32 balls at the top of the order . Both teams have won one match each at Etihad Stadium in the Big Bash. 

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