Nic Maddinson’s season could be over after the Melbourne Renegades captain appeared to suffer a serious knee injury during his team’s five-wicket loss to Perth on Sunday at Marvel Stadium.
And depending on the severity of the injury, Maddinson might be staring down the barrel of an extended stint on the sidelines.
In the second over of the Scorchers’ run chase, Maddinson’s left knee buckled underneath him while fielding after he gathered the ball, twisted and attempted to throw it from extra cover. He had to be stretchered off and judging by the look on his face, it seemed like he knew he had sustained significant damage.
“He’s going to have a scan tomorrow but it obviously didn’t look very good,” Aaron Finch said post-game.
“He’s still in quite a bit of discomfort so (it’s) really unfortunate, it was pretty innocuous, I think just looking at the replay, it looked like his foot got stuck in the ground and everything twisted, so really unfortunate for him.”
Large swathes of the Marvel Stadium surface were very sandy and didn’t appear to be at a high quality, and while Maddinson didn’t field on an overly sandy area, the incident did occur where a large inflatable ramp was placed for motorbike stunts which formed part of the pre-game entertainment.
But Finch wasn’t sure if that impacted the quality of the surface.
“It was a bit sandier and a lot slower than I’ve seen it in the past,” said Finch, who top-scored with 65 off 48 balls.
“There’ll be people with a lot more knowledge with things like that than me to comment on it.”
But Maddinson wasn’t the Renegades’ only casualty, with wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb needing to be subbed out with four overs left in the game due to heat stress. The temperature hit a top of 35C.
“He’s OK now, I think he’s had an ice bath and we’re trying to get his body temperature down,” Finch said.
“It was actually the umpires that came and said they were worried about him, they felt as though he was stumbling around behind the stumps there in that last (16th) over, so they wanted him to go off.
“It was a little bit scary, though, to be fair.
“He’s a big sweater as well and he finds it hard to retain any fluids so I’m sure that contributed.
“It was brutally hot out there today – there was no breeze and it was seriously hot in the middle, especially (wicketkeeping) under a helmet for I think eight overs there to the spin and batting a bit as well.”
Perth were cruising for most of their innings, but things got tight late when they found themselves needing 25 off 15 balls for victory, thanks largely to death bowling from Kane Richardson (2-21 from four overs) and Akeal Hosein (0-28 from four).
But star Perth batsman Josh Inglis (47 off 34) ended any hopes a miraculous Renegades recovery, as he smashed paceman Tom Rogers for three fours in a row in the 18th over, the first of which came courtesy of an absolutely sensational reverse ramp shot.
Cameron Bancroft played his first game of the season for Perth, replacing Ashton Agar who was called up to the Australian Test squad, and had an immediate impact scoring 46 off 32, including four fours and a six.
Faf du Plessis (39 off 29) once again got the Scorchers going at the top of the order with five boundaries.
Earlier in the day, former Melbourne captain Aaron Finch’s form resurgence at second drop continued as he hit 65 off 48, including two sixes and six fours, to bring up his second fifty of the summer and the 24th of his BBL career.
Finch, Mackenzie Harvey (16 off 12), Hosein (15 not out off six) and Will Sutherland (14 not out off eight) did a good job late of boosting the Renegades’ score.
AJ Tye was the pick of the Perth bowlers, taking 3-32 from his four overs, including the key wicket of Finch.
Perth have now opened up a one-game gap at the top of the table, having won their last four games, and look like they’re going to be hard to stop from winning back-to-back championships.
HANDSCOMB’S COSTLY HOWLER
Inglis received a huge let-off in the 15th over when he came back for a second run and should’ve been run out, but after Handscomb accepted the throw, his first attempt at whipping off the bails inexplicably missed, and by the time he completed the job with his second try, Inglis was home and got a life on 21. Inglis would help himself to another 26 runs and produce a matchwinning knock.
FINCH BRINGS UP 3000
Finch became just the second player in BBL history to reach 3000 career runs. He needed only 12 more to achieve the milestone, and did so when he flicked Jhye Richardson off his legs to backward square leg for his third four of the fourth over. Chris Lynn (3178) is the only other player to reach the lofty mark. Finch finished the day with 3053 BBL runs to his credit.