Sports

Matthew Renshaw stars as Australia A defeats English Lions

Renshaw broke the deadlock for Australia. (Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images)
Renshaw broke the deadlock for Australia. (Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images)

Matthew Renshaw made England’s Sunshine State misery official on Sunday, proving the unlikely bowling hero on the last day of Australia A’s clash with the Lions.

On the previous day, Australia’s best-of-the-rest looked on track to emulate the Test side and claim a huge win in the second-biggest game in town.

Aussie opener Bryce Street was unbeaten on 119 runs in the second innings, while Nic Maddinson and Mitch Marsh also brought up speedy half-centuries.

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But the English Lions weren’t going down without a fight, and after Australia’s declaration, James Bracey took the reins.

His leisurely century set the tone for the visitors, who had clearly decided that chasing down 324 runs in one day was beyond them.

Australia A’s Michael Neser and Mark Steketee continued to pull the right moves for Test selection.

Steketee enticed Bracey into misplaying a pull shot, which was taken comfortably by wicketkeeper Josh Inglis.

But even without Bracey, the English managed to keep the game on their own (very slow) terms.

Bracey’s partner Ben Foakes scored only 10 runs from the 39 deliveries he faced without Bracey as co-pilot.

Given their dominance on day three, a draw would’ve been difficult for the Aussies to swallow, but as the sun began to set over Brisbane, it looked a possibility.

Renshaw made his Test debut at 21 but hasn’t played red-ball cricket at the highest level since 2018. (Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images)
Renshaw made his Test debut at 21 but hasn’t played red-ball cricket at the highest level since 2018. (Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images)

But while his specialist bowling teammates struggled for answers, all-rounder Matthew Renshaw claimed the most crucial wicket of the day and shattered England’s hopes of sharing the spoils.

His right-arm off-spin proved too difficult for Foakes to decode — the ball sailed straight into the stumps to dismiss him on 73 runs.

Captain Nic Maddinson must’ve realised the significance of Renshaw’s effort, because he brought him back into bowl just two overs later. Renshaw then dismissed Matt Fisher leg-before-wicket for a duck and finished the day with impressive figures of 2-26 from his 14 overs, seven of which were maidens.

If punters were surprised that Renshaw snagged two wickets after tea, they’d have been incredulous that specialist batter Maddinson bowled Dom Bess (25) to put the result beyond doubt.

Australia claimed victory by 112 runs, and those with “Matthew Renshaw’s bowling saves the day” on their bingo card let out a collective cheer.

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