Adelaide Strikers will still be kicking themselves in the manner they lost their opening match of the tournament to the same team they face again in this game. Having restricted Melbourne Renegades to 153, the Strikers fell just two runs short.
In the final over, they needed nine runs, which was not a tall task by any means, especially with Daniel Drew also at the crease. But then James Pattinson bowled a gem of a final over and somehow defended eight runs for the Renegades.
Areas of improvement for the Strikers will be the run rate of their top-order batsmen Jake Weatherald and Harry Nielsen, both of whom played at almost run-a-ball pace and put pressure on other batsmen. The middle to the lower order, too, almost entirely failed, with Drew the only exception.
Much better batting performances will be needed if the Strikers are to do better in this game and find instant revenge for that slim defeat.
Melbourne Renegades beat the Strikers but they know that they had to dig really deep for it. On another day, if Lady Luck hadn’t smiled on them, they’d have easily lost.
Their problem was that batting first, their openers gave them a decent start but the batters that followed Sam Harper (33) and Mackenzie Harvey (56), just could not capitalize on the foundation.
One massive boost was the performance of Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan, whose three-for was pivotal in the Renegades’ victory. He upstaged Adelaide’s superstar spinner and compatriot Rashid Khan.
Lucky or not, the Renegades will take that win, especially after the wooden spoon finish of last year, although they remain a work in progress – especially the frail batting of theirs.