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Big Bash League: Hopes high for Chris Gayle’s return after dazzling finish to controversial season

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Cameron White hopes Chris Gayle will rejoin him at Melbourne Renegades next season after his bludgeoning half-century on Monday night gave his team a chance to pinch a Big Bash League semi-final berth.

The Renegades’ hefty challenge of scoring 171 in 16 overs against top-placed Adelaide, in order to overtake fourth-placed Sydney Thunder, became a distinct possibility when opener Gayle clubbed sixes from six of his first nine deliveries.

Gayle’s seventh six, from his 12th delivery, saw him equal the record of fastest half-century first set by India’s Yuvraj Singh.

The innings was in vain as only one other player in the Renegades’ top seven, wicketkeeper Peter Nevill, was able to reach double figures. They were eventually bowled out for 143 in the 16th over, giving the Strikers a 27-run win.

“It was unbelievable. It was probably the innings we needed chasing 171 in 16 overs. It gave us a chance, but unfortunately none of the rest of the top four could stick with him,” acting captain White lamented.

“I’ve seen it playing for Australia against the West Indies, I’ve seen it in the IPL numerous times. He’s done it in all the leagues he’s played around the world … and he’s done it against the best as well.

“It wasn’t the right result for us tonight, but for the fans it would’ve been a good game to watch I imagine.”

Strikers coach Jason Gillespie said he was not perturbed when captain Brad Hodge turned to the part-time spin of Travis Head in the aftermath of their team having conceded 1-53 from the first three overs.

“We probably didn’t have much to lose, really,” he said. “Our seamers didn’t quite get their skills right, so he thought he’d bowl Travis – golden-arm Travis Head.

“His first ball went for six . . . but he managed to pick up a couple of wickets, turned the ball, so for us it was great.”

In Head’s first over he bowled White and Dwayne Bravo with consecutive deliveries. In his next he had Gayle caught for 56 from 17.

“The moment Bravo was out first ball I just felt ‘We’ve got this now, we’re well and truly in now’, given they were 1-53 after 3 overs,” Gillespie said.

White said he hoped Gayle would return to the Renegades next season but said the decision was out of his hands and would rest on negotiations between the team and the West Indies player’s management.

Furthermore, Cricket Australia has also flagged the possibility of not registering him for next season on character grounds. Such an outcome would be controversial based on the rapturous response Gayle got from the Etihad Stadium crowd of 25,227 not only during his innings but as he walked off after being dismissed.

White said he had enjoyed his first season at the Renegades. Even though he arrived there after an acrimonious split with Melbourne Stars, the team he was the foundation captain of, he wished them well in their home semi-final against Perth on Friday night.

“I won’t lie: I miss the Stars. I hope they play well in the finals and I hope they win, especially for the boys out there. They’re a good bunch of blokes,” White said.

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Police investigate terror threat in Bali

Friday, September 20th, 2019

A woman lays flower outside the Starbucks cafe where Thursday’s attack took place in Jakarta. Photo: Tatan SyuflanaPolice are investigating a threatening letter that warns the Balinese cities of Denpasar and Singaraja could be the next targeted by terrorists responsible for the Jakarta blasts.

A letter delivered to a local government office in the Balinese regency of Buleleng warns the terror network responsible for the blasts outside the Sarinah shopping mall were “ready to blow up these cities in the name of Allah”.

“Our members are currently present in Denpasar and Singaraja,” it said. It warned they would attack shopping centres, offices and tourism destinations.”

Buleleng police chief Heri Heriyadi told Fairfax Media the police were conducting a full investigation, including taking witness accounts and scanning CCTV footage.

He said that since the Jakarta attacks the whole of Bali was on the highest possible alert for a terrorist attack.

“Regardless of whether the letter is serious or not, we always take it seriously,” Mr Heriyadi said.

“Once we have something, we will notify the media.”

He said police normally conducted daily patrols and now they were being conducted four to five times a day.

Mr Heriyadi said the letter had been delivered to the local government office at Buleleng before 9am this morning.

“When the letter was opened by administration staff the situation turned quite chaotic,” he said.

“It was a threatening letter, one of our team was there, saw the letter and the ruckus, they immediately took the letter and witnesses to police station, so we can do an immediate follow up.”

The Australian government website smarttraveller苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛 advises Australia to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali, at this time due to the high threat of terrorist attack.

It updated its advice on January 14, saying a number of explosions had occurred near the Sarinah Plaza on Thamrin St in central Jakarta.

However the overall level of advice has not changed since the attacks.

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Uniting Church ministers face pension shock after being caught welfare crackdown

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Ron Reeson, a retired Canberra-based Uniting Church minister, says the pension cuts will be felt keenly. Photo: Jay CronanMore public service newsPublic service pension shock35,000 public servants kicked off the pension

More than 1200 retired Uniting Church ministers have been kicked off the age pension or had their payments slashed after being caught up in a government crackdown on former public servants claiming welfare payment.

The churchmen and their widows have had their access to the Centrelink age pension drastically reduced as the government moves to stop retirees accessing generous “defined benefits” super plans while also claiming the pension.

The vast majority of the 35,000 retirees who have been hit so far are retired state and federal public servants and the church believes the cuts to its former ministers’ retirement incomes are an unintended consequence of the government’s move .

The Uniting Church’s clergy began paying into a defined benefits super scheme when the organisation was formed in the 1960s through the merger of Australia’s Presbyterian and Congregation faiths.

But the former ministers and widows of Uniting Church clergy, many of whom are entitled to full or part age pensions have now found themselves caught up in the broader sweep of welfare reform.

The new “10 per cent cap”, which came into force on January 1, means they can only exempt 10 per cent of their super payments from the Centrelink income test, down from the previous 50 per cent.

Only one group of retirees, former Australian Defence Force personnel who benefit from their own generous defined benefits super schemes, have secured an exemption to the change after a political backlash against the then Abbott government.

Ron Reeson, a retired Canberra-based Uniting Church minister, said that many of his colleagues were far removed from the former bureaucrats, cited by the federal government, with six figure incomes who were still claiming the age pension.

“I know of one minister whose pension has reduced by $8,000 per annum,” Mr Reeson said.

“Most of these retired ministers worked at a time when their spouses, mainly women, were not in paid employment. They were one-income families. Such cuts will be felt keenly.

“It is hard to imagine that church ministers were a target group for such legislative changes.”

The Uniting Church itself also believes the government did not envisage the retired ministers being hit by the changes and has written to Social Service Minister Christian Porter asking for their position to be reconsidered.

A spokesman for the church confirmed there was a dialogue developing.

“The Uniting Church is now considering the minister’s response and anticipates an ongoing dialogue,” he said.

A spokesman for Mr Porter said the changes were about ensuring that retirees with defined benefits super savings were treated like everyone else.

“This change is about ensuring fairness in how income is treated when deciding how much taxpayer income support a person should receive,” the minister’s spokesman said.

“Defined benefits are a generous form of income for the income test.

“We are fixing an unintended consequence of a previous change to enable fairer assessment of a person’s need for income support.”

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Hey Dad! paedophile Robert Hughes seeks High Court appeal

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Robert Hughes lost his appeal against child sex convictions in December. Photo: Janie BarrettRobert Hughes from Hey Dad! sentenced to six years in jail for child sex abuseRobert Hughes loses appeal over child sex offences

Former Hey Dad! actor and convicted paedophile Robert Hughes has applied to clear his name in the High Court.

Hughes was sentenced in the Sydney District Court to at least six years’ jail in 2014 after he was found guilty of molesting four girls between 1984 and 1990.

His youngest victim was six or seven years old and another was a fellow cast member of Hey Dad!, a popular Australian sitcom. Hughes was also convicted of a number of indecent assaults.

“The offender engaged in a systematic pattern of sexual abuse upon young girls over a number of years,” Judge Peter Zahra said at sentencing. “His conduct was brazen.”

Hughes continued to deny any responsibility, taking his case to the NSW Criminal Court of Appeal last year. His barrister, Phillip Boulten, SC, said the actor’s trial had miscarried for a number of reasons, including publicity on social media.

Hughes lost his case on December 21 last year. The 67-year-old filed through his lawyers on Monday an application to seek the High Court’s leave to appeal.

“The CCA erred in respect of how it dealt with the issue of tendency evidence,” Hughes’ solicitor Greg Walsh said.

Mr Walsh said the Crown had illegitimately relied on allegations about Hughes sleeping naked in his change room or exposing himself.

Mr Walsh also criticised the “inflammatory nature” of the crown prosecutor’s address at trial and media reports. He said one journalist had reported from a jail saying it was where Hughes would be incarcerated after his conviction.

Hughes is seeking to have his sentence reduced as well. In his first appeal, the court heard evidence he had had boiling water thrown over him at Goulburn jail.

But the Criminal Court of Appeal justices Margaret Beazley, Monika Schmidt and Richard Button did not accept his claim that his sentence should be reduced because of his treatment in custody.

They did refer the evidence to the Justice Minister and the Commissioner for Corrective Services.

“The affidavits received from both parties raised disturbing matters as to the conditions under which the applicant is being kept in custody,” the judges found.

The trial judge said he had taken into account the likelihood Hughes would be treated more harshly in prison.

Based on his original sentence, Hughes would first be eligible for release in April 2020.

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Women and memoirs dominate Indie shortlists

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Geraldine Brooks lives with her family on a rural property at Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts, where they grown organic vegetables and have pet alpacas. Photo: Randi BairdGail Jones interview Charlotte Wood interviewStephanie Bishop interviewGeraldine Brooks interview

Women writers look likely to dominate the fiction awards this year, as they pushed men aside from the Indie Book Award fiction shortlists announced on Monday.

The Indies, which are awarded by Australian independent booksellers, are the first national awards of the year and often a guide to the books that will win big awards such as the Miles Franklin.

This year they celebrate a revival of confidence among booksellers.

“Readers are moving back to print,” says Jon Page, of Pages and Pages Booksellers in Mosman, Sydney. “It had been tough when the dollar was at parity and there was talk of the death of the print book, but research in the past 12 months shows people are ditching their e-reader. They like coming into bookshops to discover new authors.”

Mark Rubbo, of Readings bookshops in Melbourne, agreed: “The disruption seems to have stopped for the moment.”

On the Indies fiction shortlist are four strong contenders: A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones, a cool psychological mystery about a group of Nabokov-inspired visitors in Germany; The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood, the fiery feminist story of 10 victims of sexual assault imprisoned on a country property; The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop, a lyrical study of a migrant couple torn between Australia, England and India; and The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks, a deeply researched and imagined life of the Bible’s King David.

The impressive debut fiction shortlist also features four women, three of them mature beginners: Relativity by Antonia Hayes, a young former book publicist; Rush Oh! by filmmaker Shirley Barrett; Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar, a long-time student and teacher of writing; and The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader, an academic in creative writing and medieval literature.

Richard Glover, an ABC radio presenter and Sydney Morning Herald columnist, is the only man on the non-fiction shortlist, in which family memoir is the only genre after the dominance of world war history last year. Glover’s Flesh Wounds joins One Life by novelist Kate Grenville, Reckoning by comedic actor Magda Szubanski, and The Anti-Cool Girl by TV blogger Rosie Waterland.

It seems the Stella Prize for women’s writing, started in 2013 to counter a perceived bias towards men’s books in major prizes, has helped to make judges aware of the strengths of women’s writing. And a large number of women are writing particularly well.

“Women’s fiction really stood out this year,” says Kate Becker at Thesaurus Books in Melbourne’s Brighton who is judging the debut fiction winner.

Male writers storm back in the kids’ books categories. A new award for young-adult books, responding to the booming field, features Cloudwish by Fiona Wood, Prince of Afghanistan by Louis Nowra, Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years 1: The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan, and Soon by Morris Gleitzman.

On the children’s shortlist are Olive of Groves by Katrina Nannestad and Lucia Msciullo, The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, The Bad Guys, Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey and The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan.

Independent bookshops make up a third of the Australian book retail market, compared with 10 per cent in the US and less than 5 per cent in Britain, where Amazon has consumed sales.

Page says the independents champion literary books that might not be sold by the discount stores, which focus on sales volume, and he sees a resurgent willingness by publishers to back new authors.

As for the huge sales of adult colouring books that boosted book sales in 2015, he says, “They were a bonus, like sudoku 10 years ago. They were an easy go-to add-on gift but they dropped off after Christmas.”

Rubbo says, “We experienced the colouring book thing mid-year and by Christmas it had died down. It was a very strong Christmas season for us in ‘real’ books.”

The Indie winners and overall book of the year will be announced on March 23.


A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones (Random House Australia)

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)

The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop (Hachette Australia)

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (Hachette Australia)


Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover (HarperCollins Australia)

One Life by Kate Grenville (Text Publishing)

Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski (Text Publishing)

The Anti-Cool Girl by Rosie Waterland (HarperCollins Australia)


Relativity by Antonia Hayes (Penguin Australia)

Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar (Pan Macmillan Australia)

The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader (HarperCollins Australia)


Olive of Groves by Katrina Nannestad & Lucia Masciullo, Illus (HarperCollins Australia)

The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton, Illus (Pan Macmillan Australia)

The Bad Guys, Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Australia)

The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)


Cloudwish by Fiona Wood (Macmillan Australia)

Prince of Afghanistan by Louis Nowra (Allen & Unwin)

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years 1: The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)

Soon by Morris Gleitzman (Penguin Australia)

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Barhop: Cult of the Vine

Monday, August 19th, 2019

The concrete and blondwood interior of Cult of the Vine in Brunswick. Photo: Pat Scala MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 13: The interior of Cult of the Vine in Brunswick on January 13, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Pat Scala/Fairfax Media) Photo: Pat Scala

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 13: The interior of Cult of the Vine in Brunswick on January 13, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Pat Scala/Fairfax Media)

Cult of the Vine Address 7 Florence Street, Brunswick, 03 9383 1542 Open Tue-Sun 11am-9pm

It doesn’t get more “Brunschic” than the Commons, a much-admired sustainable apartment block perched on the Anstey train platform. The 24-apartment eco-village proudly has no car park or aircon or tumble dryers, but does have its own bees, solar panels, and shared vegie patch on the roof. It’s very The Secret Life Of Us: Northside.

Now the building has its own sharply curated wine store and bar on the ground floor, with a large communal table for residents and passers-by to pull up a stool and enjoy a glass.

Owner Brad Lucas has a background in furniture design (he built all the cabinets) and was a sommelier under Harry & Frankie’s Tom Hogan at the Lake House in Daylesford before starting his own content agency, Studio Glass Half Full. He’s been talking about opening his own wine shop for years. “It got to the stage where I had to just do it or stop talking about it,” he says.

The concrete and blondwood space is like a gallery of over 160 handsomely labelled wines. About 90 per cent of them are organic, and 50 per cent are Australian, along with many from boutique European producers. Lucas is happy to open most of them for tasting, with glasses of wine ranging from $10 to $35. You’re also welcome to open any full bottle with a $10 corkage fee, and enjoy Lucas’ expert commentary and excellent glassware.

Perhaps try Shobbrook Wines Giallo, a natural South Australian sauvignon blanc that’s as cloudy as apple juice and dangerously easy to drink, or a glass of salmon pink pinot tache from Ballarat’s Eastern Peake, which is everything you want on a summer night: clean, crisp, dry and savoury.

The food offering is ultra simple – briney olives, salted cashews, roasted almonds or nicely spiced mixed nuts for $5 a ramekin. The more adventurous can crack a hard-boiled egg for $1, one of the more curious bar snacks in town. “I’m willing to go on record,” Lucas says, “and say that there isn’t a wine that doesn’t match with a hard-boiled egg.”

Drink this … Eastern Peake Pinot Tache, $13 a glass.

Eat this … Mixed spiced nuts, $5.

Know this … Another sustainable building, The Nightingale, is in the works across the road.

Say this … “I’ve got my name down for the next apartment that comes up.”

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Former Kuta police chief punished over Australian buck’s night scandal

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Kuta Police chief Dedy Januartha. Photo: Amilia RosaA former Kuta police chief has been demoted for at least a year over a scandal in which a group of Melbourne men were forced by police to pay a bribe after they hired a stripper at a buck’s night.

An ethics court also ordered the former police chief, Ida Bagus Dedy Januartha, to apologise to the Bali police chief over the incident.

The panel found he had violated the police ethics code by taking a cut of the bribe and failing to adequately supervise his officers.

The judge said Mr Januartha’s actions had a negative effect on the reputation of police.

Last June, Fairfax Media revealed 16 men who flew to Bali for the buck’s weekend of marketing consultant and former model, Mark Ipaviz, were forced to pay a bribe to avoid trumped-up charges and threats of a 10-year prison sentence.

Twelve Bali police officers including Mr Januartha were implicated in the scandal.

In September they were paraded before their colleagues at a routine morning briefing as part of a humiliation process and then forced to stand for two hours in the sun.

A range of other punishments were meted out but no employee was sacked over the incident.

According to two men who attended the buck’s night dinner at an upmarket eatery in Seminyak, the decision to hire a stripper prompted a raid by private security guards brandishing guns.

One of Mr Ipaviz’s friends was hit over the head with a bottle, several were shocked with Taser guns, while another was pistol-whipped and threatened with death.

The 16 men and the stripper were bundled into vans and taken to a police station holding cell in Kuta, until a translator arrived in the morning.

After more than 24 hours in custody, two men were dispatched to withdraw money on behalf of the group from ATMs while chaperoned by the translator and an armed police officer.

Once the bribe was paid, the group was released, but missed their return flights to Melbourne.

The police were interrogated after the Indonesian embassy in Australia reported a strong social media backlash when Fairfax Media revealed the corruption allegations in June.

On January 5, the ethics court found Mr Januartha “convincingly guilty of breaching the police ethical code”.

He was ordered to apologise to Bali’s police chief and be transferred to a different position of a demoted rank for at least a year.

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Australian Open 2016: Sam Stosur loses in first round … again

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Maria Sharapova advances, Caroline Wozniacki crashes outFull Nick Kyrgios package wins first round

Sam Stosur has lost in the first round and is out of the Australian Open. Again. This should be a news story but is not.

Stosur losing in the first round is no longer a surprise for, disappointingly, she has too often been here before. Stosur lost to Pliskova of the Czech Republic in straight sets at Rod Laver Arena on Monday night and even more disappointingly it was not even to the good Pliskova sister.

Australia’s top woman lost 6-4, 7-6 to the 114th ranked player in the world, qualifier Kristyna and not her twin sister Karolina, ranked 12 in the world

These things have happened before: this was the fourth time the former US Open winner has lost in the first round of the Australian Open. Twice here she has made the fourth round, but as a top ten player in the world that remains an unsatisfying yield from 15 years of competing here.

“[I’m] obviously really disappointed not to get through,” Stosur said.

“I am not happy about it, that’s for sure. Unfortunately it’s another year done.”

Stosur admitted she hoped that in retirement her performances at home would not overshadow her achievements overseas.

“Hopefully not from my Australian Open results,” she said when asked how she thought she would be remembered as a player.

“I’ve had a really good career. I’ve achieved a lot of things. You know, winning a Grand Slam was my dream from when I was eight or nine years old, and I’ve been able to do that. There’s been a lot of good in my career but I’d obviously like to do better here at the Open.

Pliskova won the first set 6-4 then needed treatment on her back and right hamstring in the break.

Ironically the tightness in her movement made things slightly more difficult for Stosur as the Czech left-hander began letting rip on her shots. A tall woman her powerful serve became more difficult to make inroads on – she hit nine aces in two sets. She was going for her shots with abandon and played to a level that belied her lowly ranking.

Stosur recovered in the second set to have a set point on Pliskova’s serve but was unable to convert her chance. The set went to tie break but Stosur could not overcome the cavalier Czech.

Stosur saved two match points in the tie break, but could not recover the third.

“Look, I didn’t play bad. I played a decent match,” Stosur said.

“I played somebody who was playing well. Had a couple of opportunities and didn’t take them.

“You know, a straight-sets loss, you don’t know exactly what that was by reading a scoreboard. It’s one of those things. I felt pretty good coming into tonight’s match. I did everything I thought as best as I could tonight, gave it everything, and unfortunately came up short.”

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Australian Open 2016: Roger Federer describes lack of names in match-fixing reports as ‘nonsense’

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Evergreen Roger Federer eases through to second roundFull Nick Kyrgios package wins first round

Roger Federer has cast doubt on the newsworthiness of the tennis match-fixing allegations that cast a long shadow over day one of the Australian Open, describing the speculation as “nonsense.”

Speaking after his straight sets victory over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, Federer was unsurprisingly quizzed at length about the BBC and BuzzFeed reports which claimed that international body the Tennis Integrity Unit, the Association of Tennis Professionals’ internal corruption body, received warnings about the behaviour of 16 players, all of whom have been ranked in the top 50, and of which half were set to play at Melbourne Park.

While at pains to point out the need to ensure the sport is kept clear of corruption, the Swiss great, winner of a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles, said it was difficult to comment on the connections of former major winners until names were named.

“I mean, it’s like who, what. It’s like thrown around. It’s so easy to do that. I would like to hear the name. I would love to hear names. Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it,” Federer said.

“Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam? It’s so all over the place. It’s nonsense to answer something that is pure speculation.

“I don’t know exactly how much new things came out, to be quite honest. I heard old names being dropped. That story was checked out. Clearly you got to take it super serious, you know, like they did back in the day. Since we have the Integrity Unit, it puts more pressure on them that a story like this broke again.”

Nevertheless Federer, who next faces Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, highlighted the gravity of the potential consequences.

“Like I said, it’s super serious and it’s super important to maintain the integrity of our sport. So how high up does it go? The higher it goes, the more surprised I would be, no doubt about it. Not about people being approached, but just people doing it in general. I just think there’s no place at all for these kind of behaviours and things in our sport. I have no sympathy for those people.”

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Big Bash League: Chris Gayle makes record-pace half-century in vain as Renegades’ season ends

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Chris Gayle lit up Etihad Stadium with a new Big Bash League record for the fastest half-century, taking 12 balls. He ultimately made 56 from 17 balls. Photo: Robert Cianflone – CAHopes high for Chris Gayle’s return after dazzling finish

Chris Gayle signed off his Big Bash League season, and perhaps his Australian career, in devastating fashion on Monday night by blasting a half-century at world-record pace.

Gayle’s phenomenal striking – six of the first nine deliveries he faced were hit for six – was ultimately in vain, as his Melbourne Renegades fell 27 runs short of their target of 171 within 16 overs against top-placed Adelaide.

Few of the crowd of 25,227 were likely to have been too downcast on their departure from Etihad Stadium given a batting cameo that lived up to Gayle’s self-proclaimed moniker of “Universe Boss”.

His half-century from 12 deliveries equalled the record of India’s Yuvraj Singh.

The Renegades were fortunate to win the toss as it gave them an opportunity to field first. Chasing not only played to their strengths – they had won three from three previously in the season, compared with none from four batting first – but gave them more influence on what they needed to do to overtake Sydney Thunder for a top-four berth.

Early wickets were desirable for the Renegades to prevent the Strikers going hard later on, by virtue of having so many wickets in again.

Yet again, however, their bowlers could not penetrate. In their preceding three home matches they had only taken three wickets in the first 10 overs, and they were similarly ineffective here as the Strikers coasted to 0-82 from the first half of their innings.

A total of 5-170 for the Strikers was set up by batsmen at either end of the innings: Jono Dean’s 48 from 35 at the top and captain Brad Hodge’s 37 not out from 21 at the bottom.

Absent Renegades captain Aaron Finch tweeted that fans should put on their seatbelts, yet even that did not prepare them for Gayle’s innings, which ended at 56 from 17.

The requirement to score at just under 11 runs an over to win inside 16 overs was suddenly a lot less daunting when Gayle blasted the last four balls of the first over – bowled by left-armer Greg West – over the boundary rope.

While that could have been put influenced by inexperience with West playing only his second match, there was no such excuse when Ben Laughlin replaced him in the third over.

The wily seamer’s first ball to Gayle was cut over the point boundary, from a full-toss so high it was a no-ball and a free hit. From that free hit Gayle hit his sixth six in seven deliveries, which meant Laughlin had conceded 13 runs in one legal delivery to Gayle.

Having been 40 not out from nine deliveries, there were murmurs of disappointment when Gayle only hit his next for four, and then boos when he struck a single thereafter to end the possibility of the outright record for the fastest half-century in a Twenty20 match.

Gayle’s consistent brutality against spin made it a risk for Hodge to bring on part-timer Travis Head. The wisdom of it seemed especially questionable when crunched his first delivery from head over long-on for six to match Yuvraj’s feat.

As Gayle walked off he raised his bat to the stadium and was met with raucous applause. It was a surprisingly demonstrative gesture, and could turn out to have been his farewell if Cricket Australia decide not to welcome him back.

By the end of that over, Hodge’s decision looked a lot smarter, as Head bowled two of the Renegades’ other key batsmen: White and Dwayne Bravo. It looked like a masterstroke by his second over, the last of the powerplay, when he had Gayle off the top edge and caught behind for 56.

The Renegades deliberately held back big-hitter Tom Beaton, in the hope that nudgers Peter Nevill and Ben McDermott could take them closer to the target before he was needed.

While the pivotal moment of the match was unquestionably the departure of Gayle, what conclusively strengthened the Strikers’ position was the introduction of their specialist spinners: Jon Holland and Adil Rashid.

Leg-spinner Rashid removed McDermott in his first over, while Holland claimed replacement Beaton for just one. A blow even bigger than Beaton’s wicket for the Renegades came from the very next delivery as Nevill was run out at the non-striker’s end after a failed attempt to run a single, to leave the Renegades reeling at 7-94.

Tailenders Cameron Gannon (23 off 15) and Nate Rimmington (26 off 19) did their best to swing their way to victory within 16 overs, but ran out of wickets.

Last man Gannon fell three balls short of their 16-over deadline.

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