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Shayne Hope

Harper fires for Renegades in BBL derby

Sam Harper scored his third BBL half-century in a row as the Melbourne Renegades posted 7-162. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Sam Harper's third consecutive half-century has helped lift the Melbourne Renegades to a competitive total of 7-162 in the BBL derby against the Melbourne Stars.

Harper backed up recent scores of 89 and 63 with a team-high 51 from 36 deliveries at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

English allrounder Matt Critchley (23 from 21) was the support act as the pair put on a 52-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

They fell in the space of seven balls, leaving Jon Wells (44 from 24) to play the lead role in the final six overs.

The Stars' bowlers spread the workload, with Liam Hatcher (2-34), Adam Zampa (1-27) and Luke Wood (1-29) all getting in on the action.

The Melbourne Renegades will bat first in their BBL derby against the Melbourne Stars. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Brody Couch took 2-40 from three overs after being called into the side as a replacement for rested frontline bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile.

It was a slow start for the Renegades, who were sent in to bat and managed just 1-17 in the powerplay.

There was only one boundary scored in that period as recalled opener Jake Fraser-McGurk chewed up seven balls for one run and was bowled by Hatcher.

But Harper turned the tide and Wells fired late as the Renegades scored 47 runs in the last four overs to set up an intriguing Stars chase.

Extra drinks breaks were required - after every block of five overs - in searing conditions under the Marvel Stadium roof as the temperature surged past 37C outside.

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