MELBOURNE, Australia, CMC – West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine starred in an unusual role for Melbourne Renegades as they beat city rivals Melbourne Stars by seven runs under Duckworth/Lewis in the Big Bash League on New Year’s Day.
Better known for his clever slow bowling, Narine was elevated to the role of opener and slammed a quick-fire 21 from 13 deliveries to get the Renegades innings off to a flying start at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
West Indies player Sunil Narine … hit a small cameo in an unfamiliar opening role.
Sent in, Renegades stormed to 171 for four off their 20 overs, with the left-handed Narine striking two fours and six in posting 38 off 22 balls for the first wicket with captain Aaron Finch who made 30 from 24 balls.
Narine, whose knock included a commanding whip over backward square for six, finally perished in the fourth over to an excellent catch at mid on by former England star Kevin Pietersen off fast bowler Scott Boland.
Cameron White then controlled the innings with an unbeaten 64 off 43 balls, in a 72-run fourth wicket stand with Tom Cooper who made 36.
Set a revised target of 159, Stars got a top score of 45 from English opener Luke Wright but could only muster 151 for nine.
Narine was once again at the forefront, producing a stingy four-over spell which cost just 26 runs and served up just one boundary.
Left-arm spinner Brad Hogg was the leading bowler with three for 22 from his four overs. Renegades were playing without Narine’s West Indies teammate, Dwayne Bravo, who was forced out of the tournament last week with a serious hamstring injury.