Spinners help Redbacks reclaim top spot
South Australia 6 for 159 (Harris 45, Christian 41, Simpson 3-17) beat Queensland 9 for 149 (Lumb 24, Rashid 2-27) by 10 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The South Australia Redbacks' spinners strangled the Queensland Bulls to reclaim top spot on the Big Bash table with a 10-run win at the Adelaide Oval.
The Bulls were always chasing the game after the coin fell Michael Klinger's way. Despite the Redbacks captain falling in the first over to 30-year-old debutant Brad Ipson, a duet of Daniels in Harris and Christian thumped 88 off 50 balls to get the home side away to a flier. Christian's 25-ball cameo of 41 was good enough to earn him the Man-of-the-Match award on a surface that got harder to bat on as the night wore on.
Once the Bulls realised the sluggish nature of the dry pitch, they were able to claw their way back through a superb spell from offspinner Chris Simpson. He took career-best figures of 3 for 17, including the wickets of Harris and the danger man Kieron Pollard in the same over, to put the breaks on the Redbacks innings.
Callum Ferguson, unperturbed by the broken nose he suffered against Western Australia, came in and played very intelligently to nudge the total up to 6 for 159. Ferguson's unbeaten 38 off 27 featured only one four and one six, but it was his placement and running between the wickets which were the highlight, showing finesse can often be a substitute for power.
The Bulls did not heed the lessons of Ferguson's play. After Michael Lumb clubbed 24 in three overs, he kept swinging for the fence, running at offspinner Nathan Lyon and missing to gift Graham Manou a stumping. Chris Simpson fell in the same vein five balls later, before two became three when the Bulls skipper James Hopes heaved against the spin of Aaron O'Brien only to be caught off the leading edge at backward point.
One of South Australia's finest players of spin, now Queensland Twenty20 coach, Darren Lehmann was left shaking his head as the middle order made a hash of playing Adil Rashid (2 for 26) and O'Brien (2 for 27).
When Nathan Reardon was needlessly run out for 18, with just under 6 overs remaining, the game was dead and buried. Ben Cutting cut loose late, hitting powerfully to make 23 not out in 13 balls, but it only would have added to the bitter taste in Queensland mouths, knowing they came within 10 runs having played so far below their best.
The Redbacks now press on to face Tasmania in a top-of-the-table clash on Monday. They will have to make do without their star import, Pollard, who leaves for the Caribbean ahead of the World Cup.
The Bulls have three fixtures left to try and conjure a finals berth.