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Melbourne Renegades claim maiden BBL title after dramatic final

BBL 08, final, report

Melbourne Stars were cruising at 93/0 in a chase of 146, but Cameron Boyce, Chris Tremain and Dan Christian sparked a collapse to earn Melbourne Renegades a 13-run win, and a maiden Big Bash League title.

Jackson Bird and Adam Zampa had picked up two wickets apiece to lead a strong bowling effort for the Stars, keeping the Renegades down to just 145/5. In response, Ben Dunk and Marcus Stoinis put on a 93-run stand for the opening wicket to lay the foundation for what should have been a comfortable chase.

Stars bowlers Jackson Bird and Adam Zampa had picked up two wickets apiece to lead a strong bowling effort for the Stars, keeping Renegades down to just 145/5. In response, Ben Dunk and Marcus Stoinis had staged a 93-run stand for the opening wicket to lay the foundation for what should have been a comfortable chase.

The duo didn't try anything extravagant, and scored at an easy pace while still putting away the bad balls. Dunk was slightly more aggressive of the two. In fact, after 21 balls, had scored just 16 runs.

He decided to up the ante, smacking Boyce down the ground for a mighty six. He scored a few more boundaries before finally perishing for a 38-ball 39, castled by Boyce as he failed to connect an attempted slog. That was the beginning of the end for Stars as they lost six more wickets for just 19 runs.

Things then unravelled at a rapid pace. In the next three overs, Tremain and Boyce reduced Stars to 99/4, with Peter Handscomb and Dunk (45-ball 57) following Stoinis back to the dressing room.

Even with the situation tense, Stars captain Glenn Maxwell looked to play his natural game. He played his shots, but eventually pulled a short ball from Tremain straight down the throat of deep square-leg to fall.

The carnage continued as Nic Maddinson (6) edged a smartly disguised slower ball from Harry Gurney to short third man. Christian then removed Seb Gotch and Dwayne Bravo in quick succession to completely turn the momentum. Zampa scored a late 17* off 10 balls, but that just wasn't enough.

The Renegades didn't have a great start to their innings, with Bird and Zampa making frequent dents. They had to rely on a late cameos from Christian and Tom Cooper to get up to a respectable score.

Adam Zampa bowled an excellent spell of 2/21
Adam Zampa bowled an excellent spell of 2/21

Bird bowled a probing line to have Marcus Harris caught behind for 12 in just the second over, and then caught Sam Harper off his own bowling when the wicket-keeper batsman sliced an attempted pull shot.

However, Bird's most important contribution came via his foot. Cameron White had played a checked drive down the ground, only for Bird to deflect it off his foot onto the non-striker's stumps to have the dangerous Aaron Finch run out for a 10-ball 13.

Zampa then squeezed more wickets. He found his rhythm instantly and used his variations to deadly effect, trapping White in front for a run-a-ball 12 with one that slid on.

Dan Christian followed up his unbeaten 30-ball 38 with figures 2/33
Dan Christian followed up his unbeaten 30-ball 38 with figures 2/33

The left-handed Mackenzie Harvey fell for a 16-ball 14 when he failed to read a fantastic googly, and in one unbroken spell, Zampa claimed two wickets, conceding just 21 runs to severely diminish the chances of the Renegades raking up a truly big score.

Cooper and Christian joined hands at 65/5 and were forced to play cautiously, with the leg-spinning pair of Zampa and Sandeep Lamichhane keeping them on their toes. Lamichhane didn't pick up a wicket, but conceded just 16 from his four overs.

By the end of the 15th over, Renegades had only scored 91/5. Christian and Cooper then accelerated, scoring 56 in the last five overs. The duo were particularly severe on Daniel Worrall, taking his fourth over – the 19th of the innings – for 17 runs. Cooper finished on 43* off 35 balls, and Christian hit two fours and a six in his 30-ball 38.

Those runs proved crucial in the end.

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