Hot air gun Matt Renshaw has had a BBL innings for the ages, smashing an unbeaten 90 to guide the Brisbane side to a three-wicket victory over the Stars in a last-ball thriller.
Needing nine runs to reach the final over Brisbane, Melbourne captain Adam Zampa lobbed the ball to Beau Webster, who was desperate to defend their total of 7-159.
The seamer dived wide before recovering with three dots, leaving Renshaw with the mammoth task of scoring eight runs from three deliveries.
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Non-striker Matt Kuhnemann worked hard to get Renshaw back within two, with four runs needed off the last ball – and the Test star had a plan.
Renshaw crossed his area and slotted the ball past keeper Joe Clarke. The ball then dribbled over the boundary rope before the Stars fielders could get to it, prompting wild scenes on the Heat bench.
“A bit of brilliance from Matt Renshaw, he’s been cooking them but he’s doing the job for Brisbane Heat in a classic at the MCG,” Fox Cricket’s Mark Howard said.
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Australian legend Adam Gilchrist praised Renshaw’s “guts” at the final ball.
“He was just caught trying to shoot over in the final, he felt the game slipping away. He was in control all his innings and in the driver’s seat of this chase but he just lost his form,” Gilchrist told Fox Cricket.
“But to his credit – and that’s the maturity he’s found in his life in his cricket – to take a couple of deep breaths and have a game plan. And he executed it to perfection.
“Well done Matthew Renshaw, you just kept your franchise alive in BBL12.
Injured Scorchers star Mitch Marsh added: “It’s unbelievable. A lot of batsmen in such a situation would try to loosen the ropes and hit them too hard. He obviously had that plan before the ball was thrown and he made the shot.”
While Renshaw shone brightly, fellow Test players Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne stunned the Fox Cricket commentators with bizarre shots.
Khawaja was cruising on 14 runs from seven balls before taking a wayward strike off the bowling of Liam Hatcher and Fox Cricket’s Adam Gilchrist not holding out.
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“I’m really surprised by Usman’s stroke selection, I was talking about how I thought he would have been a bit more correct, a bit more technical,” Gilchrist said.
“But he tried to take the ball outside off stump to the leg side, he managed that game nicely.
“He paid the ultimate price in a cricketing sense.
Labuschagne also threw away his wicket in bizarre fashion when he tried to sweep a wide delivery off the first ball of Clint Hinchcliffe’s spell.
“Now they have Marnus Labuschagne, the Brisbane Heat are stumbling,” Howard said.
“He’s so disappointed in himself, it’s nobody’s fault but himself,” Gilchrist said.
“Marnus, it just wasn’t there because of the stroke he tried to perform.
In the Stars innings, Nick Larkin batted upright to drag his team to a defendable total of 58 off just 36 balls.
Beau Webster represented with 36 off 34, but it was Renshaw again who stole the show with a hilarious moment – a wicket while taking the mic.
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While speaking to the Fox Cricket commentators, Renshaw was called to bowl and Khawaja was heard discussing tactics with the off-spinner.
“I didn’t expect this when I spoke to you,” Renshaw said.
Fox Cricket’s Mark Howard asked what Renshaw’s tactics were when he marked his run-up.
“I’m just trying to go slow, get in here,” Renshaw said.
The 26-year-old then ran to bowl, delivered a wide off-spinner that caught the edge of Tom Rogers’ bat and popped the ball for Josh Brown to take an easy catch at gully.
“That’s exactly what I wanted, yeah Browny, I tried to tell them,” said Renshaw as he celebrated the big goal.
Renshaw continued to commentate the rest of the end and was able to catch Larkin’s edge.
“Slip in Uz (Usman Khawaja),” Renshaw said as the ball beat the keeper.
Michael Neser was the pick of the bowlers for Brisbane, with impressive figures of 4/25 from his four overs, including the key wicket of England import Joe Clarke.
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