The South Australian Redbacks won out last night in magnificent style, posting a slow-starting but quick-finishing 180 on a good batting wicket and miniature oval in South Africa last night after being sent in against the in-form Lions, who were suprise (but not unwelcome) winners against the big-name Mumbai Indians on Friday night, and then destroying the South African team with the panache we've come to expect from them in Twenty20 cricket.
It was largely down to South Australia's best-ever 3rd wicket partnership between captain Klinger and vice-captain Ferguson, who scored a very respectable 97 runs off of 63 balls, making Klinger the highest-scorer in the competition to date (which isn't saying much as almost every team has only played the once). Although the others didn't do much, the batting promised a high standard for the rest of the tournament, even if we missed our big-name internationals from the domestic season. It was well and truly worth staying up late into the night to watch, as I was on the edge of my seat the whole time (and that's not a great idea when it's a recliner).
The bowling was led by the pacy Shaun Tait, the thinking Dan Christian and the tricksy Aaron O'Brien, who were supported by good fielding which resulted in some excellent runouts (including a double play, which doesn't net you two wickets, but isn't something you see every day) and ultimately leading to a solid victory (I don't think we fielded as well as the Lions, who were amazing, but we did ok) against an impressive opposition. I wasn't convinced by wicketkeeper Manou, whose glovework was well below that we've come to expect from him, but he still managed a good stumping and a run-out throw, not an easy thing to go when wearing wicketkeeping gloves.
Next game is on Tuesday night my time against the Indians, who'll be smarting after their loss to the Lions, so we'll just have to see if we can keep up the pressure. If we can beat them, we'll be looking very good for a finals berth. The other Australian team, the Victorian Bushrangers, are playing tonight. As an Aussie cricket fan, I'll be hoping they do well, but as a South Australian of good conscience, I'll be barracking for the other team.