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