Cricbuzz Staff •
Matthew Wade scored his sixth half-century of the season. © Getty
Matthew Wade ensured Hobart Hurricanes will host the semifinal of the Big Bash League 2018-19 at home after they cruised to a 16-run win over the Melbourne Renegades at the Bellerive Oval on Thursday (February 7), confirming a top-of-the-table finish, despite having one league game still to play.
Wade led Hobart’s charge up front once again with a quickfire half-century, his sixth of the season, that gave them a blazing 87-run opening stand after they were put in. Wade scored a 30-ball 58, that included six fours and four sixes, before he fell to Kane Richardson in the ninth over. D’Arcy Short and Ben McDermott kept Hobart in the game with sedate knocks, but it was Simon Milenko 27-run cameo towards the end, off 14 balls, that gave Hobart a strong total of 183 to finish with.
Riley Meredith had the worst of starts with the ball in his first over, conceding 23 from the opening over of the chase, with 17 coming off one legal delivery. He conceded just the single in his first three balls, but after that, his over read: Nb, 5wd, 4nb, 4nb, 1, 1, 4lb. Aaron Finch (35) and Sam Harper (20) kept Renegades in the chase after the early wicket of Marcus Harris, but the pair falling in successive overs pegged Renegades back. Qais Ahmad, the Afghanistan teenager, accounted for Finch on debut, making a promising start to his BBL career.
But in the end, defeat was down to a lack of partnerships. Tom Cooper gave them some hope with a handy 44, but his wicket in the 18th over left the lower order with too much to do.
Hobart have one last league game left, against Sydney Thunder on Thursday, while Renegades, who have also sealed a place in the top four, will have to wait until the league stages end to know who they will play further and where.
Brief scores: Hobart Hurricanes 183/6 in 20 overs (Matthew Wade 58, Ben McDermott 39*; Kane Richardson 2-55, Harry Gurney 2-40) beat Melbourne Renegades 167/8 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 35, Tom Cooper 44, D’Arcy Short 2-20) by 16 runs.