Hogg dropped catch extends Renegades’ Perth pain

Ashton Turner of the Scorchers bats during the Big Bash League (BBL) cricket match between the Perth Scorchers and the Melbourne Renegades at the WACA in Perth, Monday, January 8, 2018. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, IMAGES TO BE USED FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER, NO USE IN BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM AAP Waves to his former home fans, theatrical appeals and that wide, boyish smile. It all looked like fun and games for the Big Bash League’s grand old man Brad Hogg. But a dropped catch soon meant this was no laughing matter for the Melbourne Renegades.

In his first match back at the WACA since leaving the Perth Scorchers in mid-2016, veteran spinner Hogg, who turns 47 next month, might have thought he had reason to make light of a dropped catch at third man in the 11th over.

He had been busy signing gear for fans on the boundary moments before the spill off the bowling of Jack Wildermuth. Even after, the Scorchers still needed 104 from 56 balls for an unlikely victory, and Hogg was happy to keep playing up to the appreciative crowd in the deep.

The court jester still looked to be in his element but things quickly turned. The man Hogg had dropped, Ashton Turner, was in a mood to punish the drop. He was 16 when given the life, but with clever hitting and hard running he soon raced to his 50 and, combining with David Willey and then Ashton Agar, Turner thrilled a record WACA BBL crowd to remarkably keep the Scorchers’ perfect record against the Melbourne Renegades in tact.

In the sides’ eighth meeting, the Renegades looked destined to secure a breakthrough win after some brilliant late hitting behind square from Tom Cooper (57 from 34) and another mature knock from Cameron White (68 not out from 55), helped the Renegades to 3-185 from their 20 overs, with 71 runs coming from the final five overs of the innings.

It looked a winning total, even more so when opener Michael Klinger was caught behind for a first-ball duck off the bowling of Mohammad Nabi. Hogg then had Hilton Cartwright stumped for 22, and the Renegades had every right to be laughing. But the Turner drop was the turning point.

Willey fell for 55 but Turner kept going, charging his way to 70 from 32, including taking 13 runs from what was effectively Hogg’s last ball (six off a no ball, followed by another six). With his name being chanted by the crowd, Hogg kept his smile despite finishing with 1-38 from four overs, and while Turner and Adam Voges were run out in quick succession, Agar kept the runs coming.

Nabi bowled tightly in the final over, but Agar and Tim David picked up the five runs needed as the Scorchers sealed a memorable five-wicket victory with one ball to spare, heading to the top of the table and knocking the Renegades to third ahead of Friday night’s derby against the Melbourne Stars at Etihad Stadium.

The Renegades had won the toss, and posted their total despite captain Aaron Finch (two) again falling to Scorchers veteran Mitchell Johnson (1-23 from four). The match was Finch’s last for the Renegades before he joins ‘s one-day international camp, with the Scorchers also set to lose quicks Andrew Tye and Jhye Richardson to international duties. Nabi will play Friday night’s derby before he departs for international duties with Afghanistan.

Speaking after the match, Hogg refuted a suggestion he had been distracted by his interactions with the crowd.

“At the end of the day, it is what it is. I dropped a catch that cost us the game, you know you’re going to have days like that,” Hogg said.

“At the of the day, we all drop them. You’re never happy when you drop them. I had nowhere to hide so I had to turn around and sort of smile and carry on.”

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