The Melbourne Stars have capitulated in the final of the 2019 Big Bash League, falling 12 runs short in response to the target set by the Renegades of 145. The Stars required only 55 runs off 43 balls with no wickets lost and appeared to be cruising towards their first BBL title. Then horror struck.
Amazingly, the Stars lost 7-19 in one of cricket’s greatest chokes, as the trophy slipped through their fingertips. Over 40 000 people turned out to watch the BBL final at Marvel Stadium, an eager crowd ready to see the first Melbourne derby final.
Poor start for the Renegades
While the Stars started in emphatic fashion, the Renegades were the complete opposite. The Renegades were 5-75 and were in danger of being skittled for less than 100. However, a match-defining partnership between Tom Cooper and Dan Christian ensured the Renegades posted something defendable. Aaron Finch can consider himself unlucky, after he was run out by Jackson Bird from a miraculous deflection at the non-striker’s end.
Stars begin to panic
Set 145 to win their first BBL title, the Stars appeared on track, with openers Ben Dunk and in form all-rounder, Marcus Stoinis, putting on a 90+ run stand. Dunk recorded a timely fifty (57) and with plenty of batting depth in the sheds, the Stars looked home.
However, complacency and a lack of match awareness gave way to sheer panic. Indeed, Maxwell, Nic Maddinson, Peter Handscomb and Dwayne Bravo all fell in quick succession, giving the Renegades a chance at a miraculous win. Maxwell falling for just 1 was crucial, given his recent BBL form. After the Stars’ horrendous collapse, the Renegades had the match won, with the Stars requiring almost 30 runs off the last over and no recognised batsman at the crease.
Maxwell points the finger
Shattered Melbourne Stars’ skipper, Glenn Maxwell, has refused to acknowledge that the Stars’ choked during the latter stages of the match. Extraordinarily, Maxwell has suggested that openers, Dunk and Stoinis, needed to ‘break the Renegades’ in the earlier stages, despite putting on almost a 100-run stand. Maxwell won’t have much time to dwell on the heartbreaking loss, as he flies out with the ODI squad for the upcoming series against India.