Ben Stokes was the star of the show as his side, the Melbourne Renegades, beat the Hobart Hurricanes by 37 runs to record just their second victory of this year’s tournament.
Stokes, on debut did not have long to wait to show off his talent, batting at number three, he was soon at the crease after the Renegades’ opening pair Matthew Wade (2) and Aaron Finch (5) quickly fell.
The Englishman’s aggressive batting pulled his side out of a hole they had earlier dug themselves into. He shared an 86-run partnership for the third wicket with Australian Calum Ferguson before the Durham all-rounder finally departed for 77, scored off just 37 balls, from which he scored eight fours and five sixes.
Ferguson followed soon after and the Melbourne sides innings fizzled out and finished 163/7 after a good spell of bowling from Doug Bollinger (3-32) which gave the Hurricanes a fighting chance of chasing down the total.
Despite an abundance of batting ability amongst their top order, none of the Hurricanes' big hitters could push on in the way that Stokes did. Openers Ben Dunk (17) and Tim Paine (13) could not capitalise on decent starts, Alex Hales’ poor run continues, being dismiseed for just 7, whilst captain George Bailey, who threatened to go on and provide a winning score, soon followed.
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Wickets then began to tumble in the hosts middle order, with youngster Nicholas Winter picking up career best figures in T20 cricket of 3-19, this coupled with the economical bowling of Peter Siddle and Fawad Ahmed meant the Hurricanes were bowled out for just 126, 38 runs from their target and still with four deliveries to spare.
The win moves the Renegades off the bottom of the table and despite sitting seventh, are only behind fourth placed Sydney Thunder on net run rate, whilst the Hurricanes remain sixth.
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