Melbourne Renegades’ fruitful and lucky start to 2022 finally came to an end in their last game as they were hammered by the red-hot Sydney Thunder.
The Gades had previously taken advantage of others’ misery by notching wins over virus-weakened Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars. An abandoned match over Sydney Sixers had also netted them a share of the spoils.
Sydney Thunder had a cleaner bill of health so they proceeded to remind the Gades of their level in a 129-run mauling.
The Renegades have been dealt twin blows. Afghanistan star Mohammad Nabi has left them due to family reasons whereas veteran pacer James Pattinson has also withdrawn citing, possibly due to bubble fatigue and ongoing physical soreness.
It does not happen often but Sydney Sixers are currently on a two-match losing streak. The two-time defending champs are the winningest side ever in the competition but have been weakened somewhat due to the virus and injuries.
That said, all three of their losses so far this season have come against genuine contenders and not a middling side the size of the Gades.
Their most frequent conquerors this season have been Perth Scorchers, to whom they have back-to-back defeats in their last two games.
In the Jan 9 game, the Sixers posted a 152-run target, to which the Scorchers got to with an over and five wickets to spare.
This will be Pakistan star Shadab Khan’s last game of this campaign as the Pakistan Super League is around the corner. With Ben Manenti and Steve O’Keefe out injured, it means Lloyd Pope and Todd Murphy will have to burden the weight of spin bowling for the remainder of the tournament.