Statscrunch At The Game: 2015-16 BBL, Melbourne Renegades v Melbourne Stars

Yep, I was at a sporting event live, for just the second time in the history of the blog. Here I am, writing a match report.

The Melbourne Stars have won their second derby in a week, beating the Melbourne Renegades easily by eight wickets on a Saturday night encounter at Etihad.

My grandfather, cousin, and I arrived at the game at around 5:15, during the women’s game between the Melbourne Renegades and the Sydney Thunder.

By the time we arrived at the game, the women’s result was as good as decided, with the Thunder requiring 74 runs from seven overs. The Renegades kept bowling brilliantly, and eventually they dismissed the Thunder for 103.

Melbourne Renegades Women 8-139 (Priest 57, van Neikerk 29, Vakarewa 2-13) d Sydney Thunder Women 103 (Blackwell 45, Farrell 18, Molineux 3-18) by 36 runs

Me and my cousin were then sent off to find food. We ended up walking around three-quarters of Etihad, seeing a nice view on the way…

…before finding a place that wasn’t closed or too crowded. With our $45, we weren’t even able to buy a chicken and chips meal with 600ml of soft drink for the three of us. This is proof that the food is too expensive. We went without drinks, ate it, and then waited for the match to start.

The toss was won by the Melbourne Stars, and they made the call to bowl. Earlier in the day, I’d said that the Renegades should have bowled first if they’d won the toss, so Daniel Hussey had the right idea.

They went through the teams for the match, and there was a conspicuously loud cheer for Chris Gayle when he was announced.

The match kicked off, and all eyes were on Gayle. Would he collapse into a duck, or go ballistic and score a century?

In the second over, Tom Cooper edged one straight to Peter Handscomb, keeping the Renegades at 1-3. The captain, Cameron White, came to the crease, and made a 50 run partnership with Gayle. Gayle wasn’t out until the ninth over, after he skied one straight to Rob Quiney off Marcus Stoinis. He’d made a run a ball 21.

The next ball, White played and edged, and a diving Handscomb took a brilliant catch. Stoinis was on a hat trick, and Peter Nevill, back from Australian duties, was at the crease. He blocked it.

In the 13th over of the innings, Adam Zampa was bowling brilliantly, and then took perhaps the most bizarre run out ever. Bowling to Dwayne Bravo (on 13 at the time), the West Indian has smashed a daisy cutter right into Nevill’s bat. That ball ricocheted into Zampa’s nose, breaking it, and then went from there into the stumps, with Nevill out of his crease. After a huddle of players on the pitch, Nevill left for seven.

And it wasn’t over yet. Two balls later, Zampa had debutant Adam Ayre plum LBW for a golden duck. The Renegades had gone from 3-75 to 5-79 in an instant (well, not really, it took a long time).

Fortunately for the renegades, Bravo and new man Tom Beaton began hitting freely, scoring 66 runs in six overs before Beaton was bowled by Stoinis. At the end of the innings, the Renegades were 6-155, with Bravo having scored 59*. Based on their past bowling, that would be an easy target for the Stars.

For the first half of the Stars innings (which was delayed due to ill-advised fireworks), most of the action was coming from the crowd, with paper planes. A section of the crowd at the Coventry end spent much of this time trying to throw paper planes onto the field, with limited success. The few planes which did make it onto the field were then picked up by the fun police security people.

Despite the planes, the innings was excellent. Stoinis and Luke Wright got the Stars to 36 in 4 overs, before Stoinis had his stumps shattered by Bravo. Wright was caught by White off the bowling of young Cameron Stevenson for 37 in the eighth over.

But from then on in, it was the Pietersen and Handscomb show. The two looked nearly untouchable. Now, don’t get me wrong, they weren’t hitting monster sixes, they were just slowly chipping away at the target. There were a few missed chances, but they both would have gotten 50s if the target had been set higher (Pietersen did).

And then, when Handscomb scored a two off the last ball of the eighteenth over, the match was won, the Stars had nearly sealed a finals spot, and the Renegades chances were over. All in all, an excellent game of cricket.

Melbourne Stars 2-156 (Pietersen 57*, Handscomb 39*, Stevenson 1-28) d Melbourne Renegades 6-155 (Bravo 59*, Beaton 29*, Stoinis 3-11) by 8 wickets

Nick the Stats Guy’s 3-2-1 Votes

  • 3 votes: Marcus Stoinis (Melbourne Stars)
  • 2 votes: Kevin Pietersen (Melbourne Stars)
  • 1 vote: Peter Handscomb (Melbourne Stars)
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