Marsh turns back the clock, Scorchers lose 7-5 as Renegades take champions to the wire in BBL thriller
The Perth Scorchers have overcome a crazy batting collapse and a Shaun Marsh masterclass to post a 13-run BBL win over the Melbourne Renegades in front of 42,226 fans at Optus Stadium.
The Scorchers lost a remarkable 7-5 in the space of 18 balls late in their innings to be bowled out for 162 in 19.4 overs in Tuesday night’s match.
In reply, Marsh scored 59 off 36 balls to guide the Renegades to within touching distance of victory. The Renegades needed 35 more runs off 20 balls after Marsh departed.
The equation came down to 17 needed off the final over – bowled by AJ Tye.
Jonathan Wells was caught on the second ball of the over and Kane Richardson fell next delivery, with the Renegades limping to 8-149.
It left the Renegades winless after five games and on bottom of the ladder, while the Scorchers (three wins, one no-result) are equal top.
Marsh, a former Scorchers star, had been sidelined from the first four games this season after tearing both of his calves. But it was like he was never away, cracking four fours and three sixes during his classy knock.
“It never surprises us,” Scorchers vice-captain Josh Inglis said of Marsh’s stunning return.
“Everyone knows what a class player he is, and you’re almost a bit depressed when he walks out to bat, because you know how good he is and what he can do to an attack.”
Marsh needed just 28 balls to bring up his half-century. “It was nice to be able to get through a game and it was a lot of fun being out back out there with the guys again,” Marsh said.
“It’s been a long few months. It was a really disappointing result for us with the position that we were in there towards the back end. But on a personal note, it was nice to get through.
The 40-year-old was a notable absentee from the opening four games of the season, and he revealed the reasons why after his star knock against the Scorchers.
“I did both my calves over the last four or five months, so it’s been tough work to get through that,” Marsh said. “My first one I did was just getting back from Bali – just doing some run-throughs.
“So I had the left one (injured) and then that was coming good. And then I did my right one. So yeah, it was frustrating knowing that this was going to be my last season.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t (worry about the possibility of not making it back). It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, but it’s nice to be back here now and hopefully I can string a few games together and get a few wins.”
Marsh received a life on 24 when he was dropped by a diving Cooper Connolly in the deep, and he finally fell in the 17th over when he edged a 118km/h Lance Morris slower ball behind.
The wheels fell off for the Renegades after that, with Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff and Tye producing some tight overs at the death to tie down the visitors.
Earlier, the Scorchers slumped to 2-4 in the second over after openers Zak Crawley (1) and Connolly (0) departed in quick succession.
Crucial knocks from Inglis (64 off 44 balls) and new skipper Aaron Hardie (57 off 41) put the Scorchers on track for a score close to 200.
But from 3-157 in the 17th over, the Scorchers lost 7-5 in the space of 18 balls to be bowled out with two balls still remaining.
Hardie was the first to fall in that sequence when he was caught in the deep.
Three balls later, Nick Hobson holed out.
Will Sutherland then sent Laurie Evans (24 off 15), Ashton Agar and Tye packing in the 19th over, with all three batsmen caught.
The Renegades completed a team hat-trick when Jhye Richardson fell first ball of the 20th over, and the Scorchers were put out of their misery when Morris was run out three deliveries later.
Paceman Tom Rogers was the standout bowler for the Renegades with figures of 3-18 from his four overs, while Sutherland’s late heroics ensured he ended with 3-36.