Renegades still rock bottom after Sixers rumbling
Melbourne Renegades' title defence is on the brink of collapse after a tense six-wicket defeat to Sydney Sixers on Thursday night left the red team winless from five Big Bash League matches.
A simple catch dropped by Dan Christian and soft dismissals of top-order batsmen Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris were daggers to the heart for the Renegades at Marvel Stadium.
But tight bowling kept the home side in it before Jordan Silk (36*) and Tom Curran (1 not out) held their nerve in the final two overs to guide the Sixers to 4-154, passing the victory target with just one ball to spare. The Sixers' win came despite England all-rounder Curran coughing up franchise worst figures of 1-58 from his four overs.
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The hero of the Sixers' super-over triumph in their previous outing against Sydney Thunder, Curran conceded the third-most runs of any bowler in a BBL innings.
It mattered little in the end as he helped the powerful Silk steer them to victory after Daniel Hughes (40), Josh Philippe (33) and James Vince (41) had laid the groundwork.
Philippe was on 19 when he was dropped at mid-on by Christian in one of three near misses for the Renegades off Kane Richardson (0-22).
The Sixers looked to be cruising when Hughes and Philippe guided them to 0-70 through nine overs.
But Renegades spinners Tom Andrews (2-22) and Cameron Boyce (2-31) combined for three quick wickets in the space of 14 balls to give their side hope. Earlier, legspinner Lloyd Pope (2-22) and seamer Jackson Bird (2-24) sent down four overs apiece to lead a tight Sixers bowling unit with Ben Dwarshuis (1-27). Finch (9) and Harris (2) were out cheaply as Sam Harper (45) and Shaun Marsh (40) tried to lift the Renegades.
Late hitting by Christian (32 off 17) helped them post 6-153 from their 20 overs on a good batting deck.
Harper took a particular liking to Curran early.
The diminutive opener whipped a six over square leg and slayed four more boundaries for a total of 22 runs in the fifth over of the match. It briefly lifted the Renegades' run rate above 10 an over, but regular wickets kept their total down.
The Sixers' win saw them move to second spot on the ladder with a 4-2 record. Both teams will auction their playing shirts from Thursday night's match to raise funds for bushfire relief efforts.