Sunday, 17th February 2019
VENUE: Docklands/Colonial/Telstra Dome/Etihad/Marvel Stadium
Time: 11:45 AWST, 1:15 ACST, 1:45 AEST, 2:15 ACDT, 2:45 AEDT
Good lord it’s finally here! After 2 months of cricket that would often struggle to cut it at club level, BBL 08 can only be decided in a method familiar to Melbournians in November- A DERBY.
And rising to the occasion, Channel 7 as the host broadcaster have decided to start this in PRIME TIME!
By that, I mean 2:45 in the afternoon. Seriously, did Seven and Fox invest several kajillion dollars just to kill the frickin’ comp?
Anyway…. The City of Melbourne will finally have a Big Bash champion after 8 editions of the tournament, marked by their teams’ repeated finals failures- The Stars losing repeatedly in the finals to the Scorchers and losing the BBL 05 final to the Sydney Usman Khawajas, while the Renegades, like most teams that call Docklands home, have been pretty insipid.
THE MELBOURNE RENEGADES
History has spoken of the story of Christians being thrown to the lions in Rome to appease the baying crowds of the Colosseum.
Now in 2019, Christians are throwing fast bowlers to the lions to appease baying crowds in stadiums around Australia. Dan ‘Methuselah’ Christian being the most recent example after Friday night.
After being flayed by the Sixers’ top order (Who were on course to score 200+ before Moises Henriques came in and slowed things down), the Renegades looked dead and buried at 6/143, still needing 38 off the last 3 overs.
Fortunately for the hosts, if there’s one thing more disappointing than the crowd of 15,342, it’s Sean Abbott and Ben Dwarshius bowling at the death. I get nauseous watching Dwarshius.
Anyway, 31 runs came off the next 2 overs, and then Kane Richardson came in to join Christian and finish off the job in the last over.
Of course, with the Renegades finally making the Final, all 8 teams have now made the big game at least once, ending a long-running nightmare for Cricket Australia.
THE MELBOURNE STARS
Normally I wouldn’t even bother to question how the Stars lost to the Scorchers in a Big Bash season since it happens all the time, but how did the Stars lose to this Scorchers team… TWICE.
Anyway, the Stars grabbed that last finals spot and ventured on down to Hobart to take on the Hurricanes on Thursday night.
Now for another history lesson- Big Bash minor premiers wet their pants come finals time. This year was no exception, as Dan “Sir Frank” Worrall derailed the ‘Cane Train with 4/23, and the hosts never really recovered, with Glenn Maxwell and Seb Gotch comfortably getting the Stars to the 154 target with an over to spare.
The Stars’ chances of winning their first title are probably better now than when they ran into the red hot Thunder in BBL 05, for two big reasons.
The Stars haven’t lost at Docklands since BBL 02 (When Aaron Finch hit an unbeaten century), and this season they won both Derbies against the Renegades. Based on those factors, the Stars will probably start a slight favourite.
This will be 35-year-old Dan Christian’s 11th Twenty20 Final in his career, having won 6 previous titles on 4 different continents. Apparently it’s a disputed Guinness World Record.
I’ll leave it to Gerard Healy and Dennis Cometti from AFL Live 2004.
“Well Dennis, I’ll tip Melbourne”
“I disagree Gerard, I’m going with Melbourne”
Anyway, I’ll definitely be watching, because even though Melbourne will win, Melbourne will lose.