New team. New home ground. Same old Hoggy magic.
Spartan Brad Hogg defied Father-time once again to spin the Melbourne Renegades to victory in their Big Bash League season opener at Etihad Stadium.
The crowd favourite put on a spin-clinic to condemn the Sydney Thunder to their second-straight loss to start their title defence.
Hogg entered the attack in the ninth over and continued to pour on the misery for the Thunder.
He had a stumping chance missed on the third ball of his spell but made the decisive breakthrough in his third over, picking up the Thunder’s impressive rookie opener Ryan Gibson.
With Gibson looking to up the scoring rate he gave Hogg the charge, but the wily spinner had time to drag his length back, bowling a rather unconventional high bouncer which had the Thunder opener pirouetting through his shot. He only managed to top-edge an off-balance pull shot into Hogg’s waiting hands.
He followed that up four balls later with a perfectly executed leg-break which hit off-stump after Thunder skipper Ben Rohrer played all around it.
Hogg finished with 2-22 from his four overs in a run-chase which never gathered momentum.
Spartan Andre Russell was promoted in the order to bat at number five but there were to be no fireworks from the big West Indian with the bat as the Thunder were bundled out for just 131.
He made his mark in the field with a fiery spell of hostile pace bowling on a docile pitch.
Russell took 2-42 with the ball and grabbed a catch and a run out.
It wasn’t enough to stop a rampant Renegades batting performance though with captain Aaron Finch leading the way with a brisk 63 at the top of the order as the Renegades posted 7-179.
The 48-run victory erases the memory of last season when the Renegades failed to win a game at their home ground.
Half of the competition will be in action tomorrow in the first Big Bash season 6 double-header with the Sydney Sixers hosting Hobart followed by the Strikers taking on the Scorchers in Perth.