Glenn Maxwell continued his fine form in the BBL as he expertly steered a chase of 169 against Melbourne Renegades on Friday (January 10), subjecting the opposition to eight defeats from eight games. Maxwell had help from Nick Larkin who was an obedient silent partner in a 100-plus stand, watching in admiration as did the crowd at the Docklands Stadium who turned up in droves for the Melbourne Derby, at the end of which the Melbourne Stars solidified their position at the top of the table.
It wasn’t Maxwell in his destructive avatar to begin with. That came later. But, if anything, he was even more dangerous in restraint – maintaining control of proceedings right through. A chip shot back over left-arm spinner Samit Patel for a couple of runs in the early half of his innings exemplified as much.
The Stars were in a bit of a fix at 54/3, having just lost Hilton Cartwright in the seventh over. So Maxwell, upon arriving, took his time to assess things. He was happy to leave close to a 100 for the last 10 overs, which boiled down to 61 off the last five. It was only then that Maxwell turned violent, and it was beautiful.
Having spent enough time, accumulating 34 off 29 balls, he brought out the big guns. From that point, Maxwell hammered six sixes in the 16 balls he faced to finish with an unbeaten 83 off 45 balls – his third fifty of the competition and second on the bounce – as Stars romped home with eight balls to spare.
It was, as Maxwell said after the match, that the Renegades were under par on a lovely pitch. The reason they were was because they managed a measly 23 runs off the final four overs, with Haris Rauf, Sandeep Lamichhane and Nathan Coulter-Nile combining wonderfully towards the end. They ensured that things were pulled back significantly after Shaun Marsh’s half-century had got the Renegades aiming for much higher. It wasn’t to be though for the Renegades as they slipped into further misery.
Brief scores: Melbourne Renegades 168 for 7 in 20 overs (Shaun Marsh 63; Nathan Coulter-Nile 2/29, Haris Rauf 1/25) lost to Melbourne Stars 169 for 3 in 18.4 overs (Glenn Maxwell 83*; Samit Patel 1/21) by seven wickets.
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