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Big Bash League: Finch inspires Renegades chase as Heat fail in play-off hunt

aaron finch - cropped

Docklands, Jan 27: The Brisbane Heat missed out on a place in the Big Bash League finals after a seven-wicket defeat to the Melbourne Renegades on Monday.

Aaron Finch led a cool and commanding chase, his 63 not out leading the Renegades to 155-3 after the Heat had set a target of 155 at Docklands.

Only a win would have been enough to secure a play-off place for Darren Lehmann's side, but they failed to make the most of chances in the field, meaning the Sydney Thunder take the fifth and final spot.

With AB de Villiers (six) failing to fire after another top-order collapse, questions will likely be asked about Lehmann's future after a disappointing end to a hugely underwhelming season.

RENSHAW LEADS RESISTANCE AFTER HEAT GO OFF THE BOIL

The Heat were 1-35 after just 21 balls as they endured another miserable start after winning the bat flip.

Sam Heazlett's wild slice gave Finch an easy catch, and Ben Cutting, perhaps over-confident after four early boundaries that included two sixes off Will Sutherland (3-30), was lost lbw when teeing up for another big swing.

De Villiers went to sweep Samit Patel (1-23) only for the ball to cannon off the back leg and into the stumps, and when Chris Lynn was bowled by Nabi (1-23) for the loss of just 14, the Heat's troubles were mounting.

Renshaw and Marnus Labuschagne began the rebuilding job, the latter digging deep for 28 off 26 deliveries before Jack Wildermuth caught him trying to clear the ropes from Cameron Boyce (1-29).

Renshaw remained a beacon of resistance, his unbeaten 65 helping the Heat amass a respectable target before he was run out in the final over.

FINCH KEEPS COOL AFTER COOPER TANTRUM

Tom Cooper and Finch made an encouraging start to the chase before the former sent a delivery from Cutting (2-35) to the grateful grasp of Jack Prestwidge at deep midwicket, leaving Cooper visibly fuming as he headed back to the dugout.

The Renegades were 2-44 when Daniel Christian was caught superbly by Renshaw and, when Beau Webster was bowled full and straight by Cutting after making 14, Heat hopes were beginning to rise.

Finch, though, refused to panic. Australia's Twenty20 and ODI captain showed few signs of wilting in the Heat onslaught, with Nabi's four boundaries helping to keep the pressure off his skipper.

Prestwidge allowed a Finch drive to slide through his fingers as the Heat found their season slipping away, another mistake on the rope helping Finch bring up his half-century.

Six more over deep backward square and a drive wide of cover signalled the death knell to the Heat's play-off ambitions and gave the Renegades something to smile about at the end of a difficult season.

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Story first published: Monday, January 27, 2020, 14:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 27, 2020
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