Redbacks limp home after surviving Knowles scare
South Australia 9 for 380 dec & 8 for 94 (Harris 17, Knowles 4-32) beat Western Australia 284 and 189 by 2 wickets
South Australia were given a huge fright by Western Australia before they escaped with a two-wicket victory at the WACA. Needing only 94 and starting the final day at 1 for 6, the Redbacks relied on two tail-enders to get them home in a nail-biting chase that regularly threatened to go wrong.
Western Australia began the morning seemingly without hope, but Brad Knowles' 4 for 32 kept them excited as the visitors slipped to 5 for 53 and kept losing wickets before Tim Ludeman (12) helped decide the contest with Jake Haberfield. Ludeman and Gary Putland were together at 7 for 76 and Ludeman briefly decided attack was the best option. He hooked a six and slashed a four in consecutive Knowles deliveries to cut the target, but there was still a twist when Putland edged Steve Magoffin behind with three to win.
Haberfield ran a bye and then pushed a two over the bowler Michael Hogan's head to secure the result. The victory lifted South Australia to outright third on the Shield table with 16 points while the Warriors are fourth on 12.
After James Smith went late on the third evening, the Redbacks lost Michael Klinger shortly after the resumption as he became Hogan's seventh victim of the game. Knowles then stepped in to be on a hat-trick after picking up Cameron Borgas (7) and Daniel Harris (17) as the visitors slipped to 4 for 39.
Fourteen runs later Knowles struck again to remove Tom Cooper and half the side was gone with 41 still needed. Aaron O'Brien and Dan Christian, the last of the capable batsmen, put on 15 before O'Brien was caught behind off Magoffin and the Warriors roared hopefully again in the next over when Christian became Knowles' fourth victim.