Aaron Finch once again guided the Melbourne Renegades to a final-over win against the Brisbane Heat. (Photo: @RenegadesBBL - Twitter)

An entertaining week of BBL action generated outstanding individual feats combined with vital team performances. It leaves no undefeated sides remaining in BBL|12.

With many games being decided by the barest of margins, this season looms as a wide-open race for silverware.

The Inner Sanctum recaps all the results and biggest talking points of Round Two of BBL|12.

Round 2 results:

Hobart Hurricanes (8-172) defeated the Perth Scorchers (8-164) by eight runs

Hurricanes: Matthew Wade 51, Tim David 46*, Paddy Dooley 4-16, Riley Meredith 2-36

Scorchers: Josh Inglis 62, Faf du Plessis 32, Jhye Richardson 3-26, Aaron Hardie 2-10

Adelaide Strikers (4-151) defeated the Sydney Thunder (5-150) by six wickets

Strikers: Matt Short 65, Adam Hose 28*, Henry Thornton 2-18, Colin de Grandhomme 2-27

Thunder: Alex Hales 68, Oliver Davies 42, Nathan McAndrew 2-25, Gurinder Sandhu 1-18

Melbourne Renegades (6-139) defeated the Brisbane Heat (8-137) by four wickets

Renegades: Andre Russell 57, Aaron Finch 31*, Tom Rogers 4-23, Akeal Hosein 3-26

Heat: Jimmy Peirson 45*, Matthew Renshaw 29, Michael Neser 4-32, Mark Steketee 2-23

Sydney Sixers (6-137) defeated the Hobart Hurricanes (7-131) by six runs

Sixers: Josh Philippe 43, Kurtis Patterson 38, Sean Abbott 2-32, Hayden Kerr 2-36

Hurricanes: Asif Ali 41, Ben McDermott 17, Paddy Dooley 2-19, Shadab Khan 2-32

Perth Scorchers (7-229) defeated the Melbourne Stars (8-168) by 61 runs

Scorchers: Josh Inglis 74, Faf du Plessis 68, Jason Behrendorff 3-32, Peter Hatzoglou 2-28  

Stars: Beau Webster 43, Nick Larkin 34, Luke Wood 5-50, Trent Boult 1-42

Brisbane Heat (9-166) defeated the Adelaide Strikers (9-160) by six runs

Heat: Sam Billings 79, Max Bryant 46, Mark Steketee 4-34, Michael Neser 2-23

Strikers: Thomas Kelly 43, Colin de Grandhomme 37, Matt Short 3-14, Wes Agar 3-38

Hobart Hurricanes (122) defeated the Melbourne Renegades (114) by eight runs

Renegades: Will Sutherland 40, Jonathan Wells 26, David Moody 3-16, Akeal Hosein 3-29

Hurricanes: James Neesham 28, Nathan Ellis 21, Riley Meredith 3-12, Shadab Khan 3-20

More Cricket News

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The Top 6: Head’s golden summer; Bowlers dominate green pitch; Warner’s struggles continue – First Test Talking Points

BBL|12 Round 1 Review: The Opening Round’s Winners and Losers

Five Talking Points

1. Dooley proves to be no flash in the pan

The energetic Paddy Dooley has been a sensation for the Hobart Hurricanes in BBL|12, with all signs indicating that he isn’t quite finished yet. Dooley continues to impress with his left-arm spin, collecting wickets in each of his four appearances so far this season.

He single-handedly clawed the Hurricanes back into the contest against the Perth Scorchers, picking up two vital wickets in the space of an over before ultimately finishing with figures of 4-16. This was backed up with two-wicket hauls against the Sixers and the Renegades, increasing his season tally to nine wickets at an average of 9.44.

However, beyond being a wicket-taker, Dooley has proven to be highly economical, boasting an economy rate of 5.66. This has seen the 25-year-old restrict batters during the powerplay.

His partnership with Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan is also beginning to flourish, offering opposition batting units plenty of headaches.

Could Dooley be what the Hurricanes have been missing in their quest for a maiden BBL title?

2. Run fest at the Junction sees Scorchers reinforce credentials

Following a surprise defeat to the Hurricanes days earlier, the Perth Scorchers sent a stern warning to the rest of the competition with a brutal batting display against the Melbourne Stars.

It was raining sixes at Junction Oval, with conditions favouring batters. The reigning champions posted the third-highest BBL total in history, reaching 7-229 off their allotted 20 overs.

Faf du Plessis set the tone at the top of the order, blasting 68 runs off just 33 balls to get the Scorchers off to a blistering start. Cameos from Nick Hobson (46 runs off 26 balls) and Aaron Hardie (30 runs off 17 balls) then ensured that the Scorchers continued to apply pressure on an under-siege Stars bowling attack.

Yet the star of the show was Josh Inglis, who hit the ball to all parts on his way to a game-high 74 runs off 33 deliveries. This included five fours and six maximums, with Inglis’ 360-degree hitting on full display.

Whilst the Strikers currently lead the pack, it’s hard to look past the Scorchers as still being the team to beat in BBL|12.

3. New-look Renegades still vulnerable at the top

The Melbourne Renegades’ unbeaten start to BBL|12 was eventually brought to an end in Hobart, after failing to chase down a miserly total of 122.

David Saker’s men still should be buoyed with their early season form (three wins, one loss), yet a few question marks still linger around last year’s wooden spooners.

A few days prior to the defeat to the Hurricanes, the Renegades escaped with a final over victory against the Heat, recovering from a precarious position of 4-9 to ultimately chase down 137. However, it wasn’t to be against the Hurricanes, who had left the Gades reeling at 3-11, ensuring that the away side was unable to mount a successful comeback.

These top-order collapses may come back to bite the Renegades should they fester throughout BBL|12. Even with a potent bowling line-up that’s performing strongly, Saker will likely be demanding more from his specialist batters.

Sam Harper (27 runs), Jake Fraser-McGurk (34 runs), and Jonathan Wells (39 runs) are yet to fire this campaign, and will need to improve their output should the Renegades hope to seriously challenge for silverware.

The arrival of Martin Guptill will help bolster the top order; however, it also means that the firepower of Andre Russell will no longer be in the sheds.

Some challenging tests await the Renegades in the coming weeks. Will they rise to the occasion and prove themselves as the real deal?

4. Heat off Brisbane…for now

Needing a win to kickstart their BBL|12 campaign, the Brisbane Heat overcame a tricky start with the bat to topple the previously undefeated Adelaide Strikers at the Gabba. The six-run victory serves as a welcome relief for the Heat, who broke an eight-game losing streak in the process.

The contest also marked the first time Chris Lynn faced his former side, making the triumph even sweeter for the home side.

Despite the Heat finding themselves in trouble at 4-66, Englishman Sam Billings produced a match-winning knock of 79 runs off 48 deliveries to guide his side to a competitive total. His innings was then well supported by pace duo Michael Neser and Mark Steketee, who combined for six wickets to help the Heat successfully defend 166.

Having failed to qualify for finals last season, the Heat will need to continue to chalk up wins to make a deep run in this year’s edition of the tournament.

5. Tim Paine’s BBL return marked with a memorable win

The suspension of Hurricanes captain Matthew Wade paved the way for former Australian Test skipper Tim Paine to make his long-awaited return to the BBL scene in a clash against the Renegades.

The last time Paine had featured in the BBL was in BBL|07, meaning there were plenty of spectators eager to catch a glimpse of the local Tasmanian on Christmas Eve.

Like many of his teammates, the 38-year-old struggled to have much of an impact with the bat, only reaching 10 runs off 12 balls before being dismissed. However, his immaculate glovework came to the fore in the second innings, headlined by a sharp stumping off the bowling of Paddy Dooley.

It was a remarkable comeback from the Hurricanes, who were able to successfully defend the second-lowest total in BBL history.

For Paine, an opportunity to run out in purple in front of home fans again would likely have been an early Christmas gift.

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