Finch, Hogg steer Renegades past Thunder

Melbourne Renegades eased to a dominant 48-run win over Sydney Thunder to get its Big Bash League campaign off to a strong start on Thursday.

Aaron Finch - cropped

Aaron Finch top-scored for Melbourne Renegades with 63 off 37 balls.

Melbourne Renegades eased to a dominant 48-run win over Sydney Thunder to get its Big Bash League campaign off to a strong start on Thursday.

After batting first and posting 179 for 7 at Etihad Stadium, the Renegades had the away team all out for 131, with opening batsman Kurtis Patterson out for a diamond duck and the last five players in the Thunder batting order supplying a pitiful eight runs between them.

Ryan Gibson (39), Pat Cummins (37) and captain Ben Rohrer (30) were the only visitors to make more than three runs, as 45-year-old former Perth Scorchers veteran Brad Hogg (2 for 22) starred on his Renegades debut and West Indies duo Dwayne Bravo (2 for 28) and Sunil Narine (2 for 38) did the damage with bat and ball.

Aaron Finch top-scored for the Renegades with a 37-ball 63, his 10th BBL half-century. The Victorian found the boundary three times and went over the ropes with four maximums. Two of those arrived right at the end of his knock, the 30-year-old getting out attempting a hat-trick of sixes but succeeding only in holing out to sweeper cover off Fawad Ahmed (1 for 29).

Bravo was helped on his way to 24 by the clumsiness of West Indies colleague Andre Russell (2 for 42), who failed to effect a clean stop before kicking the ball over the ropes to gift his opponent a four.

But Russell made amends when he held a catch off the bowling of Cummins to remove Callum Ferguson, who had raced to 38 from just 32 balls. In addition to the tail's collapse, Thunder's specialists also disappointed, Eoin Morgan and Russell making just two apiece. 

SILLY POINT

Bravo's dismissal was a highlight, the all-rounder losing both his wicket and his bat attempting a huge pull shot off Clint McKay (1 for 40). Jake Doran was only too happy to return the errant bat as the visitor celebrated the dismissal, although Bravo had the last laugh when the Thunder wicketkeeper-batsman was later run out by the Renegades star.

LASER-GUIDED FINALE

After starring with the bat, Finch finished the job in style for the Renegades in the field, his direct hit on the stumps taking care of McKay in the final over and winning the game for the host without the unfortunate tailender facing so much as a single delivery.