Harwood five seals Victoria success
Victoria 263 (Blizzard 72, White 76, Harris 5-58) beat South Australia 247 (Cosgrove 92, Adcock 49, Harwood 5-45) by 16 runs
Shane Harwood's five wickets helped Victoria seal their second win in a week against South Australia in Adelaide. While the Pura Cup victory was emphatic, this match was tighter, with South Australia showing some fight before losing their way at the end.
The home side was boosted by the return of Shaun Tait, who showed what it had been missing with three wickets on return from a long lay-off. On a perfect spring day, he sprang back from elbow surgery, pursuing a typically full, and prosperous, line.
He was the pick, even though Ryan Harris added his first five-wicket haul, including three in an over, while Dan Cullen offered a tight mid-innings spell. "He stood out," the captain Nathan Adcock said of Tait, who he used in several one-over bursts. "A class above. I reckon he's still got a bit more up his sleeve."
Tait may reveal just what next week in Hobart, where South Australia will head encouraged by their showing here. Concerns remain over a brittle top order, not least with Cameron Borgas, who made three ducks in a week to forget.
Batting first, Victoria managed 263 on a turning pitch, thanks largely to Aiden Blizzard's first one-day fifty and Cameron White's slick 76. Blizzard cut and pulled his way to 72 and hit nine fours before he was trapped by one which skidded through off Dan Cullen, although replays suggested a thin edge.
Despite a strong start in the second innings, the Bushrangers had to stave off the challenge from Mark Cosgrove, who made 92. He was beginning to threaten with Adcock (49) before the captain played a full toss too late from the excellent Harwood, who once again showed his one-day class, finding swing and fully deserving his 5 for 45. Bryce McGain, who was on debut aged 35, also bowled tidily, cleaning up the fellow first-gamer Andy Delmont (13) and profiting from Ryan Harris' headrush on 19.
Cosgrove, who fell to the mischevious tweak of White, and Adcock added 121 from 124 balls, and while they were together the momentum was firmly with South Australia, who finally looked to have discovered a sliver of the confidence badly lacking earlier this week. But their chase fell away in the face of some excellent bowling.
Jenny Thompson is associate editor at Cricinfo