Hometown hero Aaron Finch led the Melbourne Renegades’ onslaught as Sydney Sixers slumped to a potentially season-ending eight-wicket BBL defeat in Geelong.
Set a target of just 112 after winning the toss and sending the Sixers in to bat on Wednesday night, the Renegades cruised to victory at Kardinia Park with 27 balls to spare.
Finch, who hails from the nearby town of Colac and played district cricket at the ground, cracked two sixes on the way to 51 off 38 balls.
The Renegades skipper departed courtesy of a sharp Jason Roy runout after bringing up his 15th BBL half-century.
Evergreen Cameron White chipped in with an unbeaten 49.
Debutant paceman Mickey Edwards copped the worst of the damage, posting figures of 0-31 off three overs.
It was the Sixers’ fifth loss from as many games, leaving them little hope of making the finals unless they win every remaining clash.
Adding to the Sixers’ woes, batsman Nic Maddinson left the ground during the Renegades innings with an apparent shoulder injury.
Left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe on Wednesday was ruled out for the remainder of the season with an ankle syndesmosis injury.
The Sixers earlier limped to 2-20 off the powerplay and finished their 20 overs on 8-111 — the fourth-lowest total of the season.
Wicketkeeper Peter Nevill fell for a golden duck after edging to Afghani off-spinner Mohammad Nabi in the first over.
Opening partner Roy followed soon after, lofting a Dwayne Bravo delivery to mid-off where Finch took a brilliant juggling catch.
Maddinson (24) looked to dig in but a mix-up with Sam Billings led to him being run out by a 30-metre direct hit from Bravo.
The Sixers could not take a trick, with skipper and top-scorer Johan Botha (32 not out) the only batsman to clear the boundary rope.
Finch is set to miss the Renegades’ final four games after being named to play in Australia’s ODI series against England.
The third-placed Renegades looked sharp in every aspect after fielding an unchanged line-up for a fourth straight game.