Melbourne Renegades Beat Hobart Hurricanes
Skipper Aaron Finch led a resurgent Melbourne Renegades to a five-wicket BBL win, with his batsman needing just 14 overs to chase down a total set by Hobart Hurricanes.
Opener Finch crafted a classy 60 at Bellerive Oval on Monday as the Renegades reached 5-141 in reply to the hosts' 5-140.
The knock included 11 boundaries, but it was fellow opener Chris Gayle who sparked excitement on and off the field.
The former West Indies' Test captain raced to 41 from 15 deliveries with four boundaries and three sixes, thrilling the crowd of 16,412.
But not so well received was his sideline interview with Ten Network presenter Mel McLaughlin.
"Hopefully we can win this game and you and I can have a drink after," Gayle told the reporter, who was left lost for words.
It prompted an on-air apology from the network a short time later, and reassurance there won't be such comments made in the future.
The Hurricanes' woes started when they lost the toss and were sent in to bat first. It didn't improve markedly after that.
Skipper Tim Paine (2) was the first to fall, bowled by Xavier Doherty (2-19).
Replacement batsman Kumar Sangakkara (3) faced only eight balls and then the usually reliable George Bailey (0) failed to contribute, caught when trying to loft a shot over mid-off.
It was big-hitting Dan Christian (58) who rescued his side from what would likely have been a disastrous total.
The result keeps Renegades' finals hopes alive, coming after three successive losses which had them struggling towards the bottom of the ladder.
Playing his last game for Renegades this summer before he enters the Australian limited-overs camp, Finch hailed his side's effort.
"The way our bowlers set the tone in the first six overs, and it continued on, it was just a fantastic night," the captain told reporters.
After Gayle's flying start, the skipper had his eye on boosting Renegades' run rate which can prove crucial in the standings.
Hurricanes skipper Paine was disappointed by his team's effort coming off the back of three successive wins.
"To come out and play like that, to bat like that, to bowl like that, I thought even from the first or second ball our energy in the field was poor and you can't afford to do that in this competition or it make you look silly," he said.
The Hurricanes next meet Melbourne Stars at the MCG on Wednesday and Renegades face the same opposition on Saturday.
Scores: Hobart Hurricanes 5-140 (D Christian 58, B Dunk 37); Melbourne Renegades 5-144 (A Finch 60, C Gayle 41; C Boyce 3-34).