Even after the loss of their captain, the Stars were still on track at 3-111 in the 15th over but the crafty Beau Webster – varying from mediums to off-spin in the same over – applied the clamps. Nick Larkin (43 from 32) then picked out Mackenzie Harvey at point, handing Richardson his second wicket. The Stars needed 25 from the last three overs but Nic Maddinson and Hilton Cartwright steered them home, a six from Maddinson off Imad Wasim sealing the deal with five balls and six wickets to spare.
The Stars could have risen to second, but had to be content with three of the four points on offer on the night. Larkin needed to take four from the final ball of the 10th over for his side to gain the Bash Boost point but was kept to a single by Imad.
Having batted first, the Renegades threatened to post an imposing total but true to form didn’t miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The cellar-dwellers had built a strong platform at 1-78 in the 10th over only for veteran to Shaun Marsh to miscue a pull and fall to Billy Stanlake for 24. Youngster Harvey was then poised to explode after racing to 29 from 16 balls but was bowled attempting to cut. That was the start of the rot, as the Renegades lost 7-30 in five overs, not even managing to bat out their 20 overs to be skittled for 150. That was despite Sam Harper’s anchoring knock of 63 from 52 balls.
This hasn’t been Aaron Finch’s tournament, and so it continued on Sunday night. Having won the bat flip, Finch returned to the top of the order after a brief trial away from his usual opener’s slot. But his stay in the middle lasted all of two balls. The gentle offies of his long-time mate Maxwell caused Finch’s eyes to light up as he looked to heave the Stars captain through mid-wicket. Instead the ball collected Finch’s off stump, leaving him to trudge off for a duck.
BACK DOWN TO EARTH
After a brilliant knock against the Adelaide Strikers two nights earlier, the Stars’ West Indian opener Fletcher found the going much tougher on Sunday night. Collected by a Richardson bouncer, Fletcher was in clear discomfort and needed medical assistance. He kept batting but fell shortly after, caught at cover off the bowling of Will Sutherland for an 11-ball seven. Sitting on the bench after his innings, Fletcher appeared to be icing his wrist.
EYES ON THE PRIZE
In scenes more reminiscent of ‘G action in July than January, Harper collided with Stars paceman Hatcher after the Renegades gloveman looked to ramp one through the leg-side. Thankfully he dusted himself off and kept going, as did Hatcher.