Richardson and Nabi inspire Renegades' rout of Sixers
Melbourne Renegades moved up to second in the Big Bash League table as they eased to a key win over Sydney Sixers in the crowded race for the semi-finals thanks to superb showings from Kane Richardson and Mohammad Nabi.
A meeting between two of the four teams tied on eight points coming into Wednesday's fixture was anything but tightly contested as the Renegades cruised to a seven-wicket victory with 42 balls to spare.
Tom Curran's 44 for the Sixers was in vain as the seam of Richardson (3-26) and the spin of Nabi (4-25) dismantled their batting line-up at the SCG.
A paltry target of 116 proved little challenge for the Renegades, who coasted thanks predominantly to a partnership of 54 between Tom Cooper and Sam Harper, which helped render the final seven overs unnecessary.
SIXERS' TOP ORDER TUMBLES
Any hope of the Sixers producing an imposing batting performance was quickly extinguished as their top order crumbled inside the opening five overs.
Daniel Hughes was caught behind for a duck off Richardson before James Vince (6) dragged onto his stumps and captain Moises Henriques (3) fell victim to a fine diving catch from Cooper.
That left the Sixers 16-3 and it was clear it would be a disappointing day for the hosts when Jack Edwards (11) gave his wicket away to reduce them to 29-4.
NABI CURTAILS CURRAN CHARGE
Josh Philippe (20) and Jordan Silk (12) had steadied the ship somewhat for the Sixers but it was England international Curran who appeared the most likely to push the hosts to a defendable total.
His 44 off 30 balls was his second-highest score of the competition and featured two fours and three maximums.
However, the excellent Nabi crucially robbed him of partners, limiting the lower order's ability to rescue the innings, removing Philippe, Sean Abbott and Ben Dwarshuis before capping his display by trapping Curran lbw with a yorker from the final delivery as the Sixers finished 115-9.
RENEGADES ROUND OFF ROUT
Cooper led by example for the Renegades as the skipper ensured they made light work of the run chase.
He struck eight fours and a six in an outstanding 33-ball 49, but was robbed of a half-century when he was cleaned up by a delivery from Steve O'Keefe - the BBL's leading wicket-taker ahead of Richardson.
The Renegades already had 91 runs on the board by that point, though, and a collapse was never in the offing.
Fittingly it was Nabi who finished things off, facing only one ball and making the most of it by smacking O'Keefe over long-off for six.