South Australia v Victoria, Twenty20 Big Bash, Adelaide January 7, 2010

Tait and Pollard push South Australia closer to finals

The Bulletin by Alex Malcolm

South Australia 7 for 202 (Pollard 52, Harris 48) beat Victoria 111 (Finch 48, Tait 3-12) by 91 runs

A devastating spell from Shaun Tait helped South Australia completely dismantle Victoria at the Adelaide Oval and put them on the verge of a Twenty20 Big Bash finals berth. Tait delivered his quickest spell of the summer to remove key Bushrangers batsmen Brad Hodge, Cameron White, and David Hussey in his first two overs, and left Victoria reeling at 4 for 20 in pursuit of a mammoth 203.

Tait's Man-of-the-Match burst was supported by Mark Cleary, who claimed a wicket in each of his first two overs, to virtually kill off any chance Victoria had. The Bushrangers capitulated with six overs to go. Aaron Finch was the only shining light with 48 from 35 balls, but he was the first of Kieron Pollard's two victims in the 14th over which confirmed the Redbacks' win.

Pollard provided some fireworks with the bat as well, striking a powerful half-century to help the hosts post an imposing total. He clubbed 52 from just 22 balls, including four enormous sixes.

The Redbacks made very good use of a magnificent batting strip, after winning the toss, with Daniel Harris (48) and Graham Manou (21) setting the tone with an opening stand of 56 in 27 balls and from there on, the innings was a runaway train.

To add insult to the injury dealt by Pollard's pyrotechnics, Victoria dropped four catches and could not bowl their overs in the time required, which may result in them incurring the wrath of the match referee. The punishment may result in the loss of 0.5 of a competition point. Should that happen, their clash with the Warriors in Perth on Sunday will be all the more important, while South Australia can guarantee Champions League Twenty20 qualification if they can beat Tasmania next Tuesday.