Neser’s hat-trick is offset by Russell’s fifty as the Renegades win their third consecutive game

Before a resurgent Melbourne Renegades rode an unbelievable counterattack from Andre Russell to stun Brisbane Heat once more, Michael Neser celebrated his return to the BBL with a hat-trick.

In their pursuit of 138 after Neser’s heroics, Renegades encountered significant difficulties on the challenging surface at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium. But Russell changed the course of the game with 57 off 42 balls, highlighted by six thunderous sixes.

A scratchy Aaron Finch maintained his composure to knock the winning boundary in the final over as Renegades celebrated their third straight victory to open the season in a see-saw finale that continued a trend of close finishes to start BBL12.

After losing both of their games versus the Renegades, the Heat are winless.

Neser makes a stunning comeback to the BBL

After being relieved of his Test obligations, Neser delighted in his return to the BBL by dismissing Sam Harper with a wicket-first ball after Harper flicked a leg-stump half-volley straight to the fielder inside the ring.

However, Neser’s excellent line and length to scrape the edge of Jake Fraser-bat McGurk’s with the final ball of the first over was not accidental.

In the third over, Neser bowled the Renegades skipper Nic Maddison, who chopped onto his stumps, with his next delivery. After Jonathan Wells failed to make a stroke, Neser claimed his third wicket in spectacular fashion by rattling the stumps.

Neser was unplayable until Russell damaged his figures with his relentless precision, which was similar to his outstanding performance against the West Indies in the Adelaide Test.

Neser demonstrated why he is unfortunate not to be a regular component of Australia’s formidable pace attack in Test cricket, despite the different format. The eighth BBL hat-trick was only produced by him, which was a plus.

The bold counterattack by Dre Russ

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At 9 for 4, there were echoes of Sydney Thunder’s disastrous all-out 15, but Russell made light of the circumstances and the precarious situation the Renegades were in. He hit three sixes off a scorching Neser to quickly alter the course of the game.

Jimmy Peirson, the captain of the Heat, risked with spinner Mitchell Swepson in the sixth over, and Russell responded by launching a huge six over long-on. For the West Indian, whose first four field goal attempts were sixes, it was either feast or famine.

Russell used sheer force to turn back time and score his maiden BBL half-century in his 25th innings. But his aggressive innings came to an end in the 15th over amid the power surge, and it appeared that he had sustained a wrist injury. He also didn’t seem quite the same.

Russell had a significant impression during his brief four-match tenure before participating in the UAE’s first-ever ILT20 league, despite having earlier expressed disappointment at being passed over during the BBL draught.

Renegades acquire Rogers menaces on difficult surface

Heat decided to bat first, and Maddinson delivered the new ball to spinners Akeal Hosein and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (who was facing his former team).

It turned out to be a brilliant plan because they got rid of the powerful Max Bryant and Colin Munro, but the Renegades’ attack was quickly stopped by Matthew Renshaw and Sam Billings.

Seamer Tom Rogers struck immediately after the drinks break, dismissing Billings with a quick delivery that caught the edge. Later in the over, Renshaw was bowled, but he continued playing after struggling to adjust to the extra bounce.

Rogers added two more wickets to his career-best BBL performance as he continued to get ominous bounce from the surface, with one rising delivery hitting Peirson in the back of the neck.

This season, Rogers’ hiring has been crucial in the resurrection of the Renegades. The 28-year-old had a breakthrough year with the Hobart Hurricanes last year, taking 20 wickets.

Along with Mujeeb and left-arm spinner Hosein, who finished with three wickets and had a standout performance with the bat, he has now taken seven wickets in three games this season, bolstering Renegades’ attack.

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