AB de Villiers’ stint in the Big Bash League ended after his Brisbane Heat team were beaten by seven wickets by the Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium to crash out of the competition.
The Heat required a win to move into a playoff spot where they would have hosted the Eliminator Final.
But, the defeat means the Hobart Hurricanes will now welcome the Sydney Thunder for the right to face the Adelaide Strikers in the knockout match.
The Heat’s top order yet again failed on Monday to fully capitalise on the explosive firepower they have in their batting lineup, as openers Sam Heazlett and Ben Cutting both departed without really kicking on.
The same happened to De Villiers, who was clean bowled by Samit Patel for only six, after making a brilliant 71 on Thursday in their match against the Melbourne Stars.
Captain Chris Lynn has been somewhat short on runs this year and also didn’t really trouble the score when he was bowled by Mohammed Nabi for 16.
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As has been the case on a few occasions in this year’s Big Bash, the Brisbane outfit looked on course to another lowish score after the opportunity to post a big score up front.
But, fortunately for coach Darren Lehman, Matthew Renshaw came off with the bat and a valuable 50-run partnership between him and Marnus Labuschagne presented the Heat with a lifeline.
A couple of big blows towards the end of the innings gave Renshaw his half-century.
He would eventually fall in the final over as the Heat finished on 154-7.
The Renegades’s innings got off to a good start with Aaron Finch and Tom Cooper looking to take the attack to the Heat but Cooper departed at a crucial time for 23.
Excellent and tight bowling by Cutting and Mujeeb Ur Rahman restricted the Renegades’ innings with the wickets of Dan Christian and Beau Webster, and Rahman finished on 1-14 after his four overs.
The pressure started to mount on the Renegades but Finch and Nabi started to play some shots, which left the home side in with a chance as they required 18 runs from the final two overs.
Finch was handed a lifeline when he was dropped by Jack Prestwidge as the captain brought up his 50.
It proved quite costly and with just eight runs needed from the final over, the Renegades cruised home with Finch hitting the winning runs as he finished on 62 from 48.
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