Melbourne, January 7: The Melbourne Renegades ended a three-match losing streak in the Big Bash League with a six-wicket victory over the previously unbeaten Hobart Hurricanes on Monday.
After starting the season with back-to-back wins, the Renegades had suffered a miserable run of form that had seen them drop to sixth in the table.
Aaron Finch marked his Big Bash return with a quickfire 42 in the Renegades' run chase, with Dan Christian and Mohammad Nabi getting them over the line with four balls to spare.
The Hurricanes came into the match top of the pile but were quickly under pressure as Kane Richardson (3-38) removed Matthew Wade and Alex Doolan in successive balls.
Ben McDermott – who survived the hat-trick ball – rescued the situation with captain George Bailey after D'Arcy Short was bounced out by Usman Shinwari (1-24).
A partnership of 102 helped lift the Hurricanes to 145-5 from their 20 overs, and when Mackenzie Harvey was removed in the third over, the leaders sensed a sixth win out of six.
It was not to be, though, as Finch and Sam Harper got the Renegades moving, the former hitting three boundaries and one massive six in a 39-ball knock.
With four overs remaining Melbourne still needed 29 to win, but it was never in doubt as Christian and Nabi peppered the boundaries.
Christian launched successive maximums off Meredith to put them within sight of their target, before Nabi sent Faulkner over the ropes to seal victory.
BAILEY BACK TO HIS BEST
Bailey had failed to build on promising starts despite the Hurricanes' impressive form this season, but he came to the fore when his team needed him the most.
Arriving at the crease with Hobart 11-3, Bailey helped steady the ship with an impressive 70 off 53 balls, the 36-year-old clearing the ropes on two occasions.
He was ably assisted by McDermott, but ultimately it was not enough to maintain their unbeaten start.
Eager to join Richardson's wicket-taking party, Shinwari removed dangerman Short with a stunning ball…although there was some confusion after an umpiring mishap.
Short was beaten by the pace of Shinwari's short delivery, the ball clipping the splice of his bat before looping in the air and the bowler taking a simple catch.
The initial decision was not out, though, before the umpire quickly realised his error and raised his finger.
NEW STICK DOES THE TRICK FOR CHRISTIAN
Christian debuted his new Kookabura bats at Docklands Stadium and they helped him deliver a knock-out blow to the Hurricanes.
The big-hitting all-rounder had struggled with the ball in hand - conceding 14 from his two overs - but he dished out similar punishment when at the crease.
After getting his eye in against James Faulkner, he then found the boundary off successive deliveries from Jofra Archer before clearing the rope with two huge maximums in the next set of six.