Scorchers edge past Renegades
The Perth Scorchers have begun 2023 in fine style, defeating the Melbourne Renegades by five wickets with two balls to spare at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.
47 from Josh Inglis and 46 from the recalled Cameron Bancroft helped Perth overhaul the Renegades score of 155, their fifth win form six matches to start their BBL title defence.
The Renegades batted first but fell in to early trouble, losing captain Nic Maddinson in the opening over for a first ball duck.
Martin Guptill also fell cheaply for six to Jhye Richardson, the Scorchers bowlers typically tidy up front.
Renegades veteran Aaron Finch was the catalyst for his side's total, making 65 off 48 balls to also pass 3000 BBL runs.
Some late hitting from Akeal Hosein and Will Sutherland dragged the score beyond 150, setting up an interesting run chase for Perth.
AJ Tye claimed 3/32 from 4 overs, Jason Behrendorff at his economical best with 1/17 from his allotted four over spell.
Adam Lyth fell cheaply in the chase for just two to Kane Richardson but Faf Du Plessis (39 off 29) and Cameron Bancroft (46 off 32) kept the innings moving, taking risks and finding the boundary to put Melbourne's bowlers under pressure.
Once Du Plessis departed Inglis and Bancroft appeared to be guiding their team home with smart batting, Bancroft run out by a Sutherland direct hit from deep midwicket.
A trio of Inglis boundaries steadied nerves after Ashton Turner was dismissed for nine, only two runs needed for victory from the final over in what was looking like a perfectly timed chase.
Inglis fell for 47 with one run still needed from three balls as the Renegades hoped to force a super over, only for Nick Hobson to calmly strike his first ball down the ground for the winning runs, keeping Perth top of the table.
Perth returns home for a clash with the Sydney Thunder on Wednesday, while the Renegades face the Melbourne Stars in a local derby on Tuesday.
IMAGE: Hill Daily Feed Mail.