Borgas and Harris end South Australia's drought
South Australia 2 for 155 (Borgas 62*, Harris 48*) beat New South Wales 8 for 153 (Smith 43, Henriques 41, Richardson 3-31) by 8 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
South Australia's 15-year trophy drought ended with a bang at Adelaide Oval, where Cameron Borgas and Daniel Harris drove the Redbacks to an eight-wicket win in the Big Bash final against New South Wales. For most of the day it was a tight contest, but in the last few overs Borgas and Harris cut loose and the end came in a rush, with the Redbacks getting home with 15 balls to spare.
The winning runs arrived when Borgas edged away to the third-man boundary off Patrick Cummins, and the South Australia players streamed on to the field to celebrate the state's first title in any format since the 1995-96 Sheffield Shield. Back then, Jamie Siddons, Tim Nielsen and James Brayshaw were part of the side, and Borgas was 12 years old.
And in a South Australian outfit featuring seven players imported from other states or abroad, it was fitting that it was two homegrown talents - Borgas and Harris - who completed the win after another South Australia-born player, Kane Richardson, took three wickets. New South Wales won the toss and batted, but Richardson helped restrict them to 8 for 153, which looked like a middling total rather than an imposing one.
By the time South Australia's captain Michael Klinger had cracked 30 from 18 deliveries, including a hook for six off Scott Coyte, the chase was well and truly on target. Coyte had his revenge by bowling Klinger with a yorker and Aiden Blizzard was bowled for 6 shortly afterwards when he tried to sweep a fullish ball from Dominic Thornely, but they were the only two breakthroughs the Blues managed.
Borgas and Harris came together at 2 for 55, needing 99 more to see their side home from 75 deliveries, and they paced their partnership to perfection. The pair began by knocking around singles and twos, running hard and ensuring the required run-rate didn't balloon too much, and then one big over put them firmly in command.
The medium-fast bowler Coyte was coming off a short run-up and Borgas exploited his lack of bounce brilliantly, scooping a pair of slog-swept sixes over midwicket in an over that cost 17 runs. From there, the task sat around a run a ball, until the end came with a flurry. Borgas finished unbeaten on 62 from 39 and Harris had 48 from 39, including two sixes, and he was also the tournament's leading run scorer.
The man who came second on that tally was David Warner, upon whose stocky shoulders the Blues' hopes rested. He started the day in encouraging style, slog-sweeping Adil Rashid on to the roof in the third over, but he fell for 21 when Richardson bowled him with a fuller delivery that Warner tried to send into orbit.
From there, the Blues struggled to gather any real momentum, although Daniel Smith (43 off 35) and Moises Henriques (41) made useful contributions. But they battled to dominate a South Australia attack that, as it had throughout most of its five wins from six games in the preliminary rounds, relied on a triple-pronged spin attack that took the pace off the ball.
A couple of balls from the offspinner Nathan Lyon were deposited over the long-on boundary by Smith, but Aaron O'Brien's left-armers were hard to get away, and his first over was one of only three maidens bowled throughout the tournament. The wickets earned by Richardson (3 for 31) were also useful, as he helped prevent any late surge from the lower-order.
And by restricting New South Wales to 153, the hosts ensured that South Australia's name will be etched on to a piece of silverware. By next year, the competition will be almost unrecognisable, with eight city-based teams and players spread across the country, some away from their home states. After this final, you can guarantee a few sides will be interested in Borgas and Harris.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo