The score: Sydney Sixers 8-111 (Botha 32no, Maddinson 24; Bravo 2-29) in 20 overs lost to Melbourne Renegades 2-112 (Finch 51, White 49no; Dwarshuis 1-19) by eight wickets in 15.3 overs
Match in a tweet: Renegades romp to victory in Geelong, smashing the Sixers with 27 balls to spare #BBL07
The hero: The 'New Big Dog' (just see his shoes) Dwayne Bravo secured the key wicket of English opener Jason Roy (5) with his first over and later returned to remove fellow import Sam Billings for 22, while he also sent Nic Maddinson packing for 26 with a simply superb piece of fielding. As if he hadn't wowed the home crowd enough, he later returned to the middle late in the chase and sealed victory with a boundary.
The return of the Finch: Aaron Finch doesn’t stay quiet for long. The Renegades captain made an uncharacteristically slow start to BBL|07, registering scores of 4, 8 and 0 in his first three innings. Before Wednesday’s match he declared his intention to go hard in front of the Geelong crowd and he certainly provided. It started with his stunning catch to remove Jason Roy during the Sixers’ innings, before the fireworks came with the bat in the chase. The early wicket of opener Marcus Harris (1) mattered little as Finch joined with Cameron White – who was brilliant in his own knock of 49 from 44 – in a 91-run partnership that ensured the Renegades cruised home. His first maximum was courtesy of a top-edge, but his second – a booming 90m effort – was all class.
It was Finch in full flight was he stroked his way to a 38-ball 51 that featured six boundaries and two sixes.
The support cast: The Renegades bowlers were superb in keeping their magenta rivals to 8-111. Afghanistan spinner Mohammad Nabi (2-22) led the way early when he captured the wicket of Peter Nevill for a golden duck in the opening over and he followed up with the scalp of Daniel Sams. Kane Richardson went unrewarded in a superb four-wicket spell of 0-13 that included one maiden.
The consolation effort: Johan Botha played a captain’s hand, scoring an unbeaten 32 from 23 deliveries. Batting at No.8 and coming to the crease with his side in trouble at 6-65, Botha provided more resistance than any of his teammates who came before him and produced the sole six of the Sixers’ innings.
The power play: Handed the new ball, Nabi struck with the fourth ball of the match to remove Sixers opener Nevill without scoring. Richardson produced a maiden with the second over, before England import Roy’s disappointing start to BBL|07 in magenta failed to improve when he was removed courtesy of a stunning catch from Aaron Finch in the fourth over, leaving the Sixers 2-11. Jordon Silk joined Nic Maddinson, but the brilliant powerplay from the Renegades had the Sixers on the back foot at 2-20 after six overs.
The catch: Aaron Finch said he wanted to make an impact in Geelong and it didn’t take long for the Renegades captain to produce. The local hero pulled in a superb one-handed screamer in the fourth over to send Roy on his way for five.
The stat:Sixers skipper Botha scored 32no from 22 balls, the remainder of his team scored 77 from 97.
The run out: It mattered not in the context of the result, but the home town fans were silenced when the boy from Colac, Finch, was run out on 51 thanks to an absolutely brilliant piece of fielding from England international Roy - the same play who Finch had brilliantly caught at the start of the match.
The fantasy wrap: Bravo ($109,200) was the star with 111 points, while Finch ($76,800) scored 75 and White ($74,700) 73.
The next stops: With three wins from four matches, the Renegades will next tackle the winless Melbourne Stars in the local derby at the MCG on Saturday. The Sixers, meanwhile, will be desperate to find their first points of the season when they travel to Blundstone Arena to meet the Hurricanes on Monday.