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Win puts Strikers at Head of pack

January 20, 2015 13:44:47 UK

Travis Head hit 71 from 34 balls to end Melbourne Renegades’ hopes of a Big Bash League semi-finals berth and secure top spot for Adelaide Strikers.

Head’s innings was the best seen at Etihad Stadium during the competition, and propelled the visitors to an eventual 5-166 that saw them win by 22 runs.

The 90-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Kelvin Smith and Head – who smacked four sixes and seven fours – was a Strikers record and proved decisive.

Captain Johan Botha came in after Head was caught off a slog sweep near the ropes by Ben Stokes off Fawad Ahmed, and he and Smith shared in a 50-run, with Smith finishing unbeaten on 41.

Adelaide had been restricted to just 3-53 in the first half of their innings but motored home with 2-113 from the final 10 overs and went on to win for the sixth time in their eight games.

The Renegades needed to win and score quickly to improve their overall run rate enough to keep alive their semi-finals hopes. But though they scored 14 runs off Kane Richardson in their second over, they hit the buffers in the next over when Gary Putland produced a wicket maiden that saw Alex Doolan bowled for 12.

Stokes looked like he could be the man to save them, hitting three sixes before failing to clear Richardson at long-on and falling to Adam Zampa for 33 from 19 balls.

Tom Beaton hit two sixes as he tried to keep them in with a shout late-on, but the Renegades needed 27 from the final over and Ben Laughlin conceded just four runs including taking the wicket of James Pattinson from the first ball.

Meanwhile, defending champions Perth Scorchers are 2.00 to win their final group stage match against Melbourne Stars, who are 1.80.

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