Matt Renshaw was there at the end to secure the Brisbane Heat’s place in their second Challenger final in three seasons, but he admitted it felt “strange” not to play on Thursday.
Matt Renshaw and Test teammates Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne will be unavailable for Australia’s four-match Border-Gavaskar series against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG.
Given their gruelling Test summer and travel schedule, they only decided to play in last night’s seven-wicket win over the Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium after the Heat’s win over the Sydney Thunder on Friday.
“It’s a really strange feeling, it didn’t feel like a really awesome win,” Renshaw said post-match. “It’s a weird situation for some guys having not played for half the season to come in and play a final on Thursday night.”
“There’s a great confidence in the group at the moment, it feels like everyone’s contributing, it feels like everyone’s doing a job at a certain time when needed, so I’m really happy with the way group’s going.”
“We want to be one of those teams in the future that, like the Scorchers, like the Sixers, that is there and thereabouts every season, and this is where you really test yourself when you lose your Test and one-day guys.”
Renshaw, Khawaja, and Labuschagne have provided the Heat with much-needed spark during their eight-game run at the tail end of the tournament, after the team was in last place on January 4 after six games, and as low as seventh with four games remaining in the regular season.
Matt Renshaw takes us through his approach to the Surge and how he guided the side home #BBL12 pic.twitter.com/GCblwZruRZ
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) January 29, 2023
“I think that shows how fluid this tournament is – you can go out there and lose so many games in a row and then win five on the trot, make finals and get on a run,” Renshaw said.
“Ideally, we wouldn’t have had to play the other night as well, we would have played Sunday in Brisbane. But we’re into that Thursday game, which is what we set out to do.
“I’m just happy to have contributed the last eight games since I’ve come back.
“(It was) a bit of a disappointing start to the Big Bash for me personally but I feel like after I came back from the Test series I knew my game really well and the guys at the top were doing such an amazing job it gave me the freedom to come in and do what I did tonight.”
Jimmy Peirson, who will take over in place of Heat skipper Usman Khawaja, told cricket.com.au that there would be a lot of selection drama in the coming days leading up to Thursday’s Challenger.
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