An audacious ramp shot off the final ball of the game from Matt Renshaw has handed the Brisbane Heat a thrilling three-wicket victory against the Melbourne Stars at the MCG on Monday night.
In response to the Stars’ 7-159, the Heat appeared to be cruising in the 16th over when a brilliant 66-run partnership between Renshaw (90 not out off 56 balls) and Jimmy Peirson (22 off 18) guided them to 4-125.
Watch BBL12. Every game live and ad-break free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
However, the visitors suffered a late scare when they lost 3-23 to fall to 7-148 in the 19th over, needing 12 off the last 10 deliveries.
Renshaw, so free-flowing throughout the bulk of his innings, then tightened up in the final over, conceding three dot balls off Beau Webster and ultimately needing four off the last ball for the win.
And he delivered the victory in stunning style, as he clipped Webster over the wicketkeeper, and the ball trickled agonisingly into the rope, just out of reach of the diving Stars fielder.
In the final over, Renshaw also benefited from the Stars’ inability to beat the innings timer, which meant the hosts were forced to have only four fieldsmen outside the circle.
Renshaw’s seventh BBL fifty came off just 31 balls, in an innings which featured strong down-the-ground hitting. But he rode his fair share of luck throughout his dig, which featured four sixes and six fours.
Renshaw got a pair of lives on 40 and 47 when he was dropped twice by Clint Hinchliffe in the space of nine balls, before surviving a direct-hit run-out attempt from Tom Rogers when on 50.
But the Heat No. 4 knew it was his night on 63 when, after a disastrous mix-up with Peirson in the 15th over, Nathan Coulter-Nile threw the ball from short third man to Adam Zampa at the bowler’s end with Renshaw nowhere near his crease.
However, Zampa couldn’t collect the ill-directed throw and Renshaw survived yet again.
Renshaw played a mighty hand after Brisbane slumped to 4-59 at the start of the ninth over to be precariously placed.
But Renshaw certainly had his help in the form of a career-best bowling display from Michael Neser earlier in the match.
Neser had the chance to become the first player in BBL history to take two hat-tricks in the same season when he dismissed Webster (36 off 34) and Nathan Coulter-Nile with consecutive balls in the 16th over.
But despite failing to replicate his feat from earlier in the summer against the Renegades in Geelong, Neser was a class above again for the Heat, taking a spectacular 4-25 from his four overs.
NESER PUTS BRAKES ON
The Heat won the toss and elected to bowl first and Neser kicked off proceedings by bowling five consecutive dot balls. The Test quick set the tone early for Brisbane by bowling the dangerous Joe Clarke for four as the Stars fell to 2-29 in the fifth over. After Webster and Nick Larkin (58 off 36) put the hosts in a strong position at 3-110 with five overs to go, Neser returned to the attack and halted Melbourne’s momentum again when he sent Webster and Coulter-Nile packing, before having Larkin caught behind with the final ball of the innings.
HATCHER SENDS SCARE THROUGH HEAT
Melbourne quick Liam Hatcher (2-29 from four overs) got the hosts off to a great start when he dismissed openers Josh Brown (five) and Usman Khawaja (14) to reduce the Heat to 2-27 in the fourth over. And when Brisbane lost Marnus Labuschagne (six) and Sam Hain (five) cheaply in quick succession, things were looking grim for the Heat. However, Renshaw was a man on a mission and produced a heroic knock. Coulter-Nile (1-22 from four) also bowled very well for the Stars.
HEAT HOPES ALIVE
The result saw the Heat keep their finals hopes alive, but they will have to win their last three games against Hobart (twice) and the Stars to give themselves the best chance of finishing in the top five. As for the Stars, they remain on course to cap off their lamentable season with their second wooden spoon.