Marlon Samuels and Muttiah Muralitharan took three wickets each as Melbourne Renegades beat Adelaide Strikers by 48 runs in their Big Bash League match at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
The Melbourne Renegades took top place on the ranking as they better their win loss record to 5-1 while the Adelaide Strikers drooping to 3-3. The controversial West Indian offspinner Samuels, who previous month had his bowling action questioned by Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann, it was a grand performance under pressure.
Dutch international Tom Cooper hit his highest Big Bash score of 59 runs from 46 balls to helped the Melbourne Renegades to a total of 155 for 6. In the chasing, the Adelaide Strikers put themselves under huge pressure after losing 4 for 50 in the first 10 overs and they were all out for 107 in 18.3 overs.
Tim Ludeman, Callum Ferguson and Nathan Reardon all unsuccessful to reach double figures and opener Michael Klinger made 24 runs. After bowling Reardon in the ninth over, Sri Lankan spin wizard Muralidharan (3 off 18) put his crush on the game by trapping hard hitting West Indian import Kieron Pollard and Theo Doropoulos lbw for ducks in consecutive deliveries in the 11th over as the Strikers slumped to 6 for 51 runs.
Marlon Samuels take 3 for 16 runs removed Johan Botha for 31 and Kane Richardson (0) in successive deliveries in the 18th over. Michael Neser was not out on 29 runs. Asked to bat first, the Melbourne Renegades had been under pressure at 5 for 112 runs before Tom Cooper and Will Sheridan (15 not out) added 43 off the final 27 deliveries of the innings. Earlier, Ben Rohrer’s 35 added 46 for the 4th wicket with Cooper.
John Botha (1-17) bowled four tight overs while fellow spinner Brad Young claimed 2 for 37 and left-arm quick Gary Putland (0 for 21 off three overs) conceded 15 from the 19th over of the innings. Marlon Samuels made 16 runs and the tournament's top run scorer Aaron Finch scored 13 both fell cheaply as Young and Botha made early on breakthroughs for the Adelaide Strikers. The semi-finals will be on January 15 and 16.