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Renegades fall at the final hurdle

04 Feb 2013

Renegades fall at the final hurdle Image

By Robert Bremner

An impressive season by the Melbourne Renegades came to a disappointing end in January after a bitter semi-final defeat at the hands of Brisbane Heat by 15 runs.

While the ending was not what they would have hoped for, the Renegades should be pleased with the progress they have made this season.

Last year the Docklands-based side finished in second last place with only two wins for the year. In comparison, they only dropped one game this season on their way to the finals.

It was a season that was near flawless for the Melbourne Renegades. Finishing on top of the ladder with only one loss after the completion of the home and away matches.

The Renegades started off with a bang, inspired by Aaron Finch’s 111, downing the highly-fancied Stars outfit in their first outing.

A string of good wins followed against the Thunder, Hurricanes and Heat. The Renegades had showed they were the real deal.

However, after a slight hiccup against the Perth Scorchers, the critics were out in force: "The Renegades were a one-man team who couldn’t win without Finch." They couldn’t have been more wrong.

The team wasn’t filled with big-name stars, like the other Melbourne side but it was the consistency and the way that they gelled together as a unit that has been the secret behind the Renegades' success this season.

Captain Aaron Finch led from the front, top scoring for the season with 332 runs. Finch was also named the player of the tournament.

He was certainly not a lone hand in the batting, with team mates Ben Rohrer, Tom Cooper, Will Sheridan and Alex Hales (mid-season replacement for the injured Samuels) all standing up when it was necessary to steer their side to victory.

As for the bowling, international superstar Muttiah Muralitharan led the attack with 11 wickets, closely followed by O’Brien, Pattinson and Sheridan with nine.

Given that they lost Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, Andrew McDonald, Shaun Tait and Shahid Afridi from their side before the tournament, it just makes the success of this season all the more impressive.  

Going into the semi-final, the Renegades were hot favourites to win. However, in a season where their bowling attack had been relentless, it was ultimately the bowling that cost them a place in the Big Bash League Final.

The disappointment was highlighted by Muralitharan’s 1-35 off four overs, his most expensive innings of the season.

The Renegades were unable to chase the 183 made by the Heat. A score that was helped by an impressive 112 not out from the Heat’s Luke Pomersbach. The Heat went on to beat the Perth Scorchers in the final and take home the BBL 02 trophy.

By stumbling at the semi-finals, the Renegades not only cost themselves the title but also a place in the coveted Twenty20 Champions League. In a double-blow for Victoria, the other Melbourne side, theStars, were also knocked out of the tournament in the other semi-final.

The Renegades will be back next season to avenge their semi-final loss and try to go one better. If they can retain the same players again for next season they will be a force to be reckoned with!

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