Agar wins it with a max­i­mum as Bravo in­jury forces change up at Rene­gades

The Cricket Paper - - BIG BASH LEAGUE - By Ed­win Charles

ASH­TON Agar hit a six off the fi­nal ball of the match to win this thriller and send the Perth Scorchers to the top of the Big Bash ta­ble.

Chas­ing 153 for vic­tory, the vis­i­tors needed nine to win off the fi­nal over with Mel­bourne Rene­gades cap­tain Aaron Finch bowl­ing.

That Finch was de­liv­er­ing the fi­nal set of six of the match was largely due to a ham­string in­jury suf­fered by Dwayne Bravo, with the West In­dian stretchered off the field.

But while the de­ci­sion to bowl him­self raised eye­brows, it al­most worked a treat with set man Mitchell Marsh, caught at long-on off a full toss, and Adam Vo­ges, run out by a di­rect hit try­ing to pinch a sin­gle in suc­ces­sive de­liv­er­ies.

Agar, had faced just two de­liv­er­ies prior to the last, with three re­quired for vic­tory. But the Scorchers dug out needn’t worry as Agar, re­mem­bered on English shores for his de­but 98 from No11 in the 2013 Ashes, showed that bat­ting prow­ess again to hit an­other full toss high over cow cor­ner and win the game.

And af­ter his fi­nal over heart­break, Finch said: “I should have hit the pitch shouldn’t I? I tried to get a yorker in there but un­for­tu­nately I missed it and paid the price.

“We nearly pulled one out of the hat there but with Dwayne only bowl­ing one over it was pretty un­for­tu­nate.”

The top five of the Rene­gades bats­men all passed 20 but only Cameron White went past 30, with 37 off 29 balls.

Eng­land’s white-ball bowler David Wil­ley im­pressed with the ball claim­ing 2-15 off his three overs while Ash­ton Turner went for just 25 off his four overs. Mitchell John­son was more ex­pen­sive, his one wicket cost­ing 31 runs.

Michael Klinger was the Scorchers’ bat­ting star, open­ing the bat­ting he made 72 be­fore a lead­ing edge drifted back to Su­nil Narine for a caught and bowled on 72.

Be­fore that dis­missal, Bravo im­me­di­ately clutched his ham­string when div­ing for a ball on the bound­ary, and scans will re­veal the ex­tent of his in­jury but his loss was badly felt by the Rene­gades.

He had ear­lier made 23 with the bat, and hav­ing been stretchered off the field, his in­jury could ham­per the progress of one of the pre­tour­na­ment ti­tle fan­cies.

Ian Bell had made 22 for the Scorchers, while Shaun Marsh was dis­missed for a very scratchy seven. His brother Mitch stead­ied things with four bound­aries in his 34 be­fore be­com­ing Finch’s first vic­tim of two in that dra­matic fi­nal over.

Klinger said: “It prob­a­bly got closer than we would have liked. But what a great ex­pe­ri­ence for Ash­ton Agar to come out and hit a six off the last ball... it lit­er­ally is what kids dream of.”

star man

MICHAEL KLINGER – Scorchers: While Ash­ton Agar will take the plau­dits for his match-win­ning max­i­mum, it was Klinger’s 72 that re­ally set the chase up. He is the BBL’s most prolific bats­man and this was the first time that the Rene­gades had dis­missed him, af­ter 173 balls

Mel­bourne Rene­gades 148-8 lost to Perth Scorchers 152-6 by 4 wick­ets (with 0 balls re­main­ing)

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