Finch leads Renegades to victory
Finch took to the Stars bowling attack with an unbeaten 111 from 65 deliveries, clubbing four sixes and 12 fours en route to guiding the Renegades to the victory target of 168 with 10 balls to spare.
Ben Rohrer impressed with 34 not out, while putting on 75 runs for the third wicket alongside Finch in front of a crowd of 23,589.
Shane Warne had a night to forget with the ball for the Stars, returning the figures of 0 for 41 from just two overs.
Finch conceded his solid displays in the 50-over form of the game helped him make a blistering start to the BBL.
“I feel really confident at the moment,” he told Grandstand.
“I feel like I’m making the right decisions. A bit of luck seems to be falling my way here and there, so really happy for the boys today.”
Finch took greater joy from getting a vital win over the Renegades’ cross-town rivals, rather than his own performance.
“To get off to a good start in this tournament is crucial and I was just so happy I could get the boys over the line,” he said.
The Stars made 5 for 167 from their 20 overs with opener and England international Luke Wright top scoring with 53.
David Hussey paced the Stars’ innings beautifully at number four and was out in the last over for 42.
Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan claimed 0 for 28 for the Renegades from his four overs.
The Sri Lankan spin wizard was taunted by the crowd who chanted “no-ball” during his opening over.
Spinner Aaron O’Brien took 2 for 27 for the Renegades.
Ex-Renegade Brad Hodge was booed on his way to the crease and scored 28 before the number three was run out, becoming the first BBL player to fall victim to the new design of bails, which flash red on impact.
Even though it was a Renegades’ home match, the applause was deafening for Warne when the retired Test great brought himself on to bowl.
But the home fans soon got behind their skipper Finch who hit Warne for two successive sixes in his 19-run opening over.
Warne dropped a simple catch at mid-wicket when Faf du Plessis was on 13, although it was not costly as the South Africa international fell in the following over for 14.
Rohrer also feasted on Warne’s bowling with two sixes in the 14th over which cost 22 runs.
Du Plessis, who starred for the Proteas in his debut Test series against Australia, was making his sole appearance for the Renegades.
He highlighted he would like to return in the coming seasons, provided international and domestic duties do not intervene.
“I would have liked to have played a couple of more games, as it’s hard to make an impact in one game,” du Plessis said.