Aaron Finch has questioned the no-ball decision which cost the Melbourne Renegades a fast bowler with a finals spot on the line after his one-man batting show kept last season‘s wooden spooners in the finals hunt.
Kane Richardson will return for the Renegades’ must-win final clash with the Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday and could potentially replace fellow quick David Moody, who was ruled out of the bowling attack in Perth on Sunday after bowling two balls deemed dangerous.
Under cricket rules, two balls delivered above waist-height – deemed dangerous – results in the bowler not being allowed to continue.
The first ball, sent down at a sizzling 143km/h, appeared to hit Perth opener Cameron Bancroft just below his ribs.
But Finch questioned whether the second delivery put Scorcher Stevie Eskinazi in any danger with Moody left “devastated” by being unable to bowl, with the Renegades falling just 10 runs short of the home team’s massive 212.
“The rule is there to protect the batter from dangerous deliveries,” Finch said.
“I don’t think that second one was dangerous. If he’d stayed in his batting stance, I think it wouldn’t have been anywhere near him.
“He went across to lap, but that’s part of the game. Moody is flat … devastated.”
Bancroft conceded he was startled by the first dangerous ball.
“It surprised me a fair bit,” he said.
“You don‘t expect that. I felt really bad for Moods. He’s a really good guy. No hard feelings.”
The Renegades remain in fourth spot. With the top five teams reaching the finals, Finch’s lone-hand kept them in the hunt.
With his team’s net run rate firmly on his mind, Finch kept plugging away in a chase which never seemed likely.
The stand-in skipper went to town on the BBL’s leading wicket-taker, Andrew Tye, smashing a massive 31 runs off his final over.
“Absolutely the run rate was on my mind,” Finch said.
“But we felt with two (overs) to go, we needed 37, which is only four good swings of the bat away.
“When you think of it that way, you can hit four sixes, you’re down to 13 runs off nine balls, but we couldn’t get there.
“The run rate didn’t take a bit hit; 0.03 we went down by, which is crucial. But getting the two points would have been a lot more valuable.”
Richardson, who missed the trip to Perth due to soreness, is likely to return to face the Strikers.
“It’s understandable that he missed with his injury history; we have been flying a lot lately and he was very sore,” Finch said.
“I think his experience around the other bowlers as well; he’s so underrated.”