MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 19: Cameron Boyce (C) of the Renegades celebrates with teammates after dismissing Daniel Sams of the Thunder during the Men's Big Bash League match between the Sydney Thunder and the Melbourne Renegades at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on January 19, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

After four seasons in last place, BBL 12 has finally seen the Melbourne Renegades jump above eight place and into the finals, and although they lost to a Brisbane Heat side full of Australian test talent, their wicketkeeper knows they can keep their heads held high.

The Renegades had not played a finals game since BBL|08 when they won the title, and the effort it took from their players is not lost on Sam Harper, who himself played a significant role behind and in front of the stumps.

Harper scored 264 runs across BBL 12, including a new career best of 89 and three half-centuries, all with Peter Handscomb waiting in the wings to come into the team whenever needed, so it's fair to say the 26-year-old provided a good account of himself.

Speaking to, Harper opened up on his role after being at the club since 2018.

"Batting No.3, there's a bit of responsibility there, and I turned 26 this BBL so I've played five years now since we won it," Harper said post their knockout final against the Heat.

"I think that excuse of being young and up and coming (with) potential is gone now, it's time to deliver some good results for us.

"It was nice to contribute in some games and I'll definitely take a lot out of that into next year."

The season started well for the Renegades, winning their first three games as Andre Russell cameoed for his four-game stint, providing 101 runs and four wickets, but things turned sour from there despite the strong form of Aaron Finch, they would lose their next four before bouncing back.

That bounce-back was solely on the strength of their core group of players rallying in a desire to return to the finals finally, and Harper was quick to sing their praises and affirm that this is just the beginning.

"In the next few months the club will be happy with how the season went (after) the last few seasons didn't go our way," he continued.

"We got some really good overseas in this year which was key for us especially early in the tournament and then Will Sutherland had a breakout year – albeit (he's) doing really well in Shield cricket – this is probably the T20 year that he really came through and showed what he could do.

"'Richo' (Kane Richardson), 'Finchy' (Aaron Finch), 'Sos' (Shaun Marsh), (Jon) Wells and Tommy Rogers (are) here next year, so we've got a really good core group.

"We've got pretty distinct individual roles now that Sakes (coach David Saker) has given us, I feel like as a team we're going in the right direction, we probably just needed another 10 runs (against the Heat)."