Fiery Tait sets up thrilling South Australia win
South Australia 6 for 262 (Klinger 79, Harris 56, Bird 4-48) beat New South Wales 9 for 261 (Thornely 82, Forrest 57, Tait 5-27) by four wickets
Shaun Tait produced a brilliant spell of vicious swing bowling before his batting colleagues got South Australia home with one ball to spare at Adelaide Oval. Chasing 262, the Redbacks needed 11 from the final Mark Cameron over and Cameron Borgas put them in the box seat with a six over midwicket from the first delivery.
Borgas holed out to long on next ball for 39 but Mark Cleary and Aaron O'Brien steered the home team to victory in an innings that had been strongly set up by the openers Michael Klinger, who made 79, and Daniel Harris (56). Both men fell to the accurate and impressive Aaron Bird, who found reverse swing to finish with a career best 4 for 48 that gave the Blues a sniff.
Bird also picked off South Australia's star recruit Younis Khan, whose first appearance for the Redbacks ended when an inswinging yorker rattled his stumps when he had 3. Bird had also trapped Callum Ferguson, whose 46 helped South Australia to a seemingly unbeatable position at 1 for 176.
But it was Tait who had set up the triumph with two almost unplayable spells of very fast bowling that bookended the New South Wales innings. Tait struck in the first over when Phillip Hughes edged behind and quickly added the debutant Usman Khawaja, who bravely tried to hook and was brilliantly snared one-handed by the jumping O'Brien at square leg.
When Tait was rested, South Australia were far less threatening. Dominic Thornely and Peter Forrest (57) built a handy total, with help from an aggressive Moises Henriques, who made 41. Dan Cullen and Cleary leaked runs as the Blues' confidence grew but Tait's late spell was vital in restricting the target.
He returned to trap Thornely lbw for 82 with a toe-crushing inswinging yorker and added Grant Lambert, who backed away and bizarrely offered no shot to a full toss on middle stump. Another yorker accounted for Nathan Hauritz and Tait's 5 for 27 earned him the Man-of-the-Match title, set up the victory and was a worrying omen for any other domestic or international batsmen who will face him this season.