Sixers dump Renegades from semifinal battle

GREG BUCKLE
Last updated 02:12 19/01/2014

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Melbourne Renegades have crashed out of the BBL semi-finals race after a heartbreaking two-run loss to Sydney Sixers at Etihad Stadium.

The Renegades were restricted to 5-149 chasing 152 to win on Saturday night.

Needing 17 from the final over of the match, Peter Nevill (four not out) and Ben Rohrer (28 not out) could manage 14 off the bowling of veteran quick Brett Lee.

The Sixers have joined Perth Scorchers on 10 points with 5-2 win-loss records, trailing the unbeaten Melbourne Stars (6-0).

Hurt by the absence of opener Aaron Finch on one-day international duty, the Renegades have slipped to 2-5. Their last regular-season game is on Wednesday against the Strikers in Adelaide.

Man of the match Moises Henriques scored a stylish 55 in the Sixers' 6-151 after the visitors lost the toss.

The Renegades started well in reply before Henriques threw down the stumps at the bowler's end to run out Dan Harris (20) with the score on 36.

Thirty runs later the pace-bowling allrounder claimed the wicket of Michael Hill (35) who holed out to long on.

Alex Doolan was run out for 19 at 3-91 as Dwayne Bravo and Ben Rohrer set themselves to bat through the remainder of the innings.

The Renegades suffered a huge blow when Bravo (38) was caught by Nathan Lyon who held a difficult high chance at mid off at the start of the 19th over.

Zimbabwe-born BBL debutant Solomon Mire also departed in the 19th over, run out for one.

Needing 17 off the final over, the Renegades fell just short in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 14,152.

Earlier, Henriques arrived at the crease with the Sixers at 1-6 and proved a steadying influence, hitting seven fours and one six off 39 deliveries.

The big right-hander shared 46-run partnerships with Michael Lumb (18) and Steve Smith (25).

Left-arm slow bowler Aaron O'Brien (2-41) claimed the key wickets of Nic Maddinson (three) and Smith while Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan (1-23) was also influential, removing Henriques stumped at 4-109.

West Indian import Bravo (1-23) and fellow seamer Nathan Rimmington (2-35) also helped keep the pressure on the Sixers who relied on experienced left-hander Marcus North (30 not out) to guide them through the closing five overs.

Sydney Thunder will host the Sixers at ANZ Stadium on January 25.

Henriques said the Sixers were hoping to regain former Test quick Mitchell Starc from injury.

"To have that sort of pace and bounce and height that he has, with what we already have with Brett Lee and Josh Hazelwood, and if Mitchell Starc is in the mix as well, it starts producing a pretty good bowling attack," Henriques said.

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Renegades' coach Simon Helmot praised the Sixers' fielding and lamented his side's three run outs.

"I'm devastated. It's disappointing, frustrating," he said.

"You get three runs outs, it kills you.

"They were 100 per cent with their run outs. We were zero from three.

"Their fielding on the boundary was exceptional.

"To fall short, it's pretty gut-wrenching."

- AAP

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