KFC Big Bash: Alex Hales inspires Melbourne Renegades to emphatic win over Sydney Sixers

By Joe Drabble - Twitter: @SkySportsDrabs.   Last Updated: 09/01/13 1:36pm

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Melbourne Renegades debutant Alex Hales made a spectacular introduction to this year's KFC Big Bash as Sydney Sixers saw their title defence come to an end at the SCG.

Overseas signing Hales, fresh off the plane and in the side in place of the injured Marlon Samuels, crashed 89 off 52 balls to set the Renegades on their way to 178-5 batting first.

Sixers, who needed to win to keep alive their hopes of reaching the semi-final stage, were never in contention in reply, folding meekly to 149 all out.

The 29-run victory improves Melbourne's record in the competition to seven wins from eight fixtures, while defending champions Sixers bow out with just three wins to their name.

Hales, overlooked from England's squad for their upcoming ODI series in India, gave the selectors a timely reminder of his limited-overs credentials with a blistering knock on debut.

The 24-year-old Nottinghamshire right-hander struck five boundaries and eight huge sixes during his 52-ball stay to take the game away from the Sixers and leave their supporters ducking for cover.

Two of Hales' maximums were measured as the biggest in the competition so far with left-arm off-spinner Steven O'Keefe (0-50 off three overs) coming in for particular punishment.

Hales shared a 112-run partnership with Ben Rohrer for the third wicket but perished 11 short of three figures when picking out England team-mate Michael Lumb on the extra cover boundary.

Roher picked up the baton in his absence, ending unbeaten on 57 to ensure Melbourne posted a daunting 178-5 from their 20 overs.

Sydney never threatened in reply with only O'Keefe (41) making any score of note as Renegades seamers William Sheridan (3-28), Nathan Rimmington (3-28) and Darren Pattinson (3-34) claiming three wickets apiece.

Speaking after the match, Hales told Fox Sports: "I'd have certainly taken that at the start of the day! A couple of caffeine tablets and some Red Bull has done the trick.

"There was a bit of pressure coming in filling the boots of Marlon Samuels and Finchy (Aaron Finch) being away with Australia, but I'm pleased it's paid off today."

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