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Big Bash League: Perth’s Michael Klinger and Shaun Marsh in record stand as Renegades’ bowlers fail

Melbourne Renegades’ paucity of strike bowlers while James Pattinson is on national duty was again ruthlessly exposed, as Michael Klinger and Shaun Marsh made Perth the first team in Australia to mount a successful chase without losing a wicket.

Klinger’s 90 from 58 deliveries and Marsh’s 76 from 54 took Perth to victory with eight balls to spare, after the Renegades had made 4-170.

The record non-derby crowd of 26,787 at Etihad Stadium would have been disappointed that the Renegades were again unable to defend a hefty total, just as happened against Sydney Sixers a week earlier. But they would have been impressed by the masterful batting of veteran Klinger and Marsh.

For Klinger, it was another reminder of his reliability as a top-order batsman in either limited-overs format. For Marsh, who spent the preceding four days carrying drinks at the MCG despite his 182 in Hobart, it continued his remarkable record in Melbourne. Since the Big Bash League expansion in 2011-12, the left-hander has scored 99 not out off 52 against the Renegades and 79 off 51 against the Stars, before Wednesday night’s effort.

Almost as pivotal to the Scorchers’ victory was their opening bowler, Jason Behrendorff. The left-armer bowled half of the powerplay overs, yet finished with 2-14, with 15 dots from his four overs, in a performance that should have caught the eye of national selectors.

The suspicion that the Renegades’ weakness is their bowling was reinforced by the Scorchers reaching 0-86 at the halfway mark. Their only nervous moments came when Marsh twice riskily lofted the ball on the leg side during the powerplay. Both times it fell safely between fielders.

By the time Marsh twice hit Hauritz over his head for sixes in the 12th over and then nudged a few singles in the next, both he and Klinger had reached their half-centuries and the Scorchers needed just 57 off the last 42 deliveries.

Earlier, the Renegades enjoyed a 98-run opening stand, with captain Aaron Finch taking the lead ahead of big-hitting West Indies batsman Chris Gayle. Gayle fell in the 12th over for 41 off 35 deliveries, but it was the loss of Finch early in the 18th over, for 72 off 48 deliveries, that was more consequential as they were unable to successfully accelerate at the death, despite having plenty of wickets in hand. Team P W L NR T Pts NRR Sydney Thunder 33—61.155Perth Scorchers 321–40.754Sydney Sixers 422–40.708Adelaide Strikers 321–4-0.081Hobart Hurricanes 321–4-1.000Melbourne Stars 312–2-0.082Melbourne Renegades 312–2-0.290Brisbane Heat 4-4–0-1.107

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