Renegades cling on to seal dramatic victory
Melbourne Renegades boosted their chances of a semi-final spot with a dramatic final-ball victory over the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League on Friday.
Needing a victory to have any hope of progressing in the 2016-17 edition of the tournament, the Renegades looked on course to do that comfortably until a late cameo from Joe Burns (35 off 22 balls) raised the tension.
The Heat - who will have to wait and see if they get a home draw in the last four - required 18 off the final over, and Burns pushed them to the brink with successive sixes off Nathan Rimmington (2-37).
However, his hopes of making it three in succession were ended when he was caught at mid-off and the Heat collapsed to 198 all out under the pressure - losing by a single run.
Sixteen runs, four wides, three wickets - including two run outs; the final over had it all and it was the Renegades who came out on top as a mix-up led to Mitchell Swepson (0) being run out off the final delivery, despite it having been called a wide.
That drama came after Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum had bludgeoned the ball to the boundary at the top of either innings, the Kiwi making a stunning return from his one-match suspension.
THAT IS INSANE! #BBL06-- Melbourne Renegades (@RenegadesBBL) January 20, 2017
FINCH ON FIRE...AGAIN
Since being left out of Australia's one-day international squad due to a lack of runs, Finch has been a scoring machine, and that continued in Brisbane.
The Renegades captain has now scored 237 runs in his last five matches and was in scintillating form at the top of the order, the 30-year-old racing to 71 off 35 balls.
His attack included six boundaries and four huge maximums that helped set the platform for his side's much-needed victory.
ANYTHING FINCH CAN DO...ENTER MCCULLUM
Not to be outdone, McCullum (64 off 40) showed his batting prowess with a dominant display of his own, timed perfectly ahead of the semi-finals.
Ably assisted by the impressive Sam Heazlett (28 off 12), the former New Zealand international gave his side hope before Finch's bowlers tightened things up.
IS THAT MR POTATO HEAD?
Australia Test opener David Warner delivered some superb banter in the closing over of the match, the 30-year-old questioning whether Brisbane had his international team-mate Burns or an iconic children's toy at the crease.
Perhaps it was a bit harsh on the moustachioed Burns as he tried in vain to get the Heat over the line.
"@JoeBurns looks like Mr Potato head with that thing on his lip," he posted.