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Finch bonus for Renegades

By Kim Hagdorn
14 January 2013 12:45PM EST

AUSTRALIAN selectors have dealt an early advantage to Big Bash trendsetters Melbourne Renegades with release of Aaron Finch from one-day duties.

The power hitting Renegades captain was left out of Australia's limited-overs team for two games against Sri Lanka in time to lead his side in Tuesday's knock-out semi-final against fast-finishing Brisbane Heat at Etihad Stadium.

Finch, 26, is a significant trump card in the Renegades chances to topple the dangerous Heat and advance to the prestigious Big Bash grand final on Saturday as well as the $6million Champions League in October.

It had been widely anticipated through domestic cricket circles that Renegades management would make a request with Australian cricket authorities for Finch to be released from national one-day duties if he retained a spot in the 12-man squad.

Australia plays the third of five one-day games against Sri Lanka in Brisbane on Friday.

Finch was left out of the revised squad after scores of 16 and four in his first two one-day appearances in Melbourne and Adelaide at the weekend.

He is the second biggest run-scorer in this summer's Big Bash series with 309 at a heft average of 77.25 and remains the only big striker to notch a century (111 not out) in the tournament.

Only in-form Perth batting power-force Shaun Marsh with his 328 runs at 65.6 including four half-centuries, has outscored Finch.

While the Renegades batting ace resumes with his talented BBL franchise, it appears Shane Warne and his Melbourne stars look set to be without gun all-rounders David Hussey, Clint McKay and Glenn Maxwell in Perth.

The Stars confront an in-form Perth Scorchers on Wednesday night at the WACA Ground.

Authorities appear to have disallowed release of the Stars trumps to travel the width of the nation so close to an international limited-overs clash at the Gabba on Friday with the five-match series delicately poised at 1-all.

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