South Australia v Tasmania, Ryobi Cup final, Adelaide February 25, 2012

South Australia take title in thrilling tie


South Australia 285 (Klinger 81, Harris 60, Faulkner 4-75, Bird 3-39) tied with Tasmania 4 for 285 (Bailey 101, Ponting 75*, Cosgrove 69, Lyon 3-86) - South Australia won the Ryobi Cup

South Australia's 25-year drought without a one-day title ended with a thrilling tie that delivered them the Ryobi Cup in the final in Adelaide. In a remarkable last over, Tasmania needed five runs for victory but managed only four as Gary Putland held his nerve to take the key wicket of the centurion George Bailey and then denied the new batsman James Faulkner the runs he required.

Faulkner needed two from the last ball and South Australia knew that as the team that finished on top of the table, a tie was enough for them to take the title. Faulkner couldn't lay bat on ball and although he and his partner Ricky Ponting ran through for a bye, there was no way Tasmania could conjure the extra run to overhaul South Australia's 285.

The South Australia celebrations were fitting for a side that has won so little silverware in the past couple of decades. The coach Darren Berry raced on to the field and embraced Putland, a bowler he mentioned before the match as a key to the side's chances, and the captain Michael Klinger was also in among the hugs after he helped set up the win with 81 and then some calm leadership at the end.

Tasmania were without question the favourites during the last few overs of the game as Bailey, the Tasmania captain, and Ponting, the champion dropped from Australia's ODI side, compiled a 174-run partnership that looked certain to take the Tigers to victory. But the loss of Bailey for 101 from the second ball of the last over, lbw to a low full toss when he tried to paddle sweep Putland, was the key moment.

He had brought up his century in the second-last over with a similar lap sweep off the spin of Aaron O'Brien from his 103rd delivery. Bailey had constructed his innings well, starting off slowly and gradually lifting his tempo, and Ponting had played a similar way after they came together with the score at 3 for 108 in the 23rd over.

Ponting was scratchy early in his innings, miscuing several balls and having the good fortune to see some lob just wide of fielders. He was put down on 36 by the eventual hero for the Redbacks, Putland, who ran around at long-on and failed to clasp a chance from a slog-sweep off the bowling of Nathan Lyon.

Ponting had another life on 58 when Tom Cooper at long-off ran in and couldn't complete a low catch, and Cooper had also put down Bailey on 6. The failures in the field looked like they would cost South Australia the title as the two batsmen stuck around and both cleared the boundary with slog-sweeps off the spinners in the final few overs.

They had come together after Mark Cosgrove departed for 69, one of three top-order wickets for Lyon, who seemed to be keeping his side on track in the early stages after they were bowled out for 285 in the final over of their innings. Klinger had chosen to bat and together with Daniel Harris (60) put on 133 for the opening wicket to give the Redbacks an excellent start.

Klinger finished as comfortably the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 498 at 55.33 but none were more valuable than the 81 he scored in this decider. He drove well through the off side and had good support from Harris, who backed himself and scored at nearly a run a ball, and later in the innings Theo Doropoulos also chipped in with an important cameo of 40 from 34.

Faulkner picked up 4 for 75 and his wickets through the middle overs helped to drag Tasmania back into the match, while Jackson Bird took 3 for 39. But in the end the Tigers needed to find a way to get Ponting on strike in that final over when Faulkner faced the last four balls. Putland didn't let that happen, and South Australia's first one-day title since 1986-87 was complete.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Roo on February 27, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Great game, right to the last ball & deservedly a tie... Still its interesting that 16,000 turned up for the domestic 20/20 final last year, while with the gates thrown open for the OD final only 10,000 turned up this year - even though crowd numbers generally have improved over last summers... Also interesting that 33% of the audience (60,000) at the 1st T20 against India in Sydney were 1st time attendees... It shows that the general public want 20/20 cricket in preference to OD'ers...

  • M on February 27, 2012, 2:33 GMT

    The comment about the pads... there are laws around what are permitted as batsmen's protective wear but nothing says they must be worn... a batsman is allowed to add or remove a helmet, arm guard, thigh pad etc whenever they choose, same applies to the pads... the only law REQUIRING the wearing of certain items related to the now defunct 'runner' law in which the runner must be attired EXACTLY as the batsman that they are running for. On another note, I was barracking for a good Punter innings - unfortunate he couldn't bring them home.

  • Andrew on February 27, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    Just a thought, (I know that finishing first should mean something), but given Tas lost less wickets & in fact bowled the Sth Ozzys out inside 50 overs, should the placings be the major decider of the winner, or should it be wickets lost?

  • Andrew on February 27, 2012, 0:41 GMT

    Poor old Faulkner! Reminds me of an indoor cricket match I played where we were about 30 runs ahead when our last 2 batsmen came to the crease. It was the Grand Final, & they kept getting out bowled! We ended up losing by about 20 runs, it was about the time Jana Navotna blew a Wimbledon final & me two mates were forever known as Jana. They NEVER lived it down, it haunts them in their sleep 20 years later! @Claydo78 - Faulkner is an awesome talent, atm he is more of a bowling allrounder, he just had a shocker! No need to make this about poor standards in Oz cricket, which are quite good IMO. The only problem in my mind with where things are at, is that we have too many VERY good bowlers & it is making it very hard for young batsmen atm, to break thru! (However when they do, International cricket will be a breeze for em). @popcorn - re Punter - maybe next year????

  • Randolph on February 26, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    The mighty redbacks!!!! Finally!! You beauty. Putland you star!

  • wayne on February 26, 2012, 1:39 GMT

    a great advertisement for the domestic one day series! Just a shame that it'll be another 9 or 10 months before it starts up again, and by then the momentum will be lost. excellent match from both sides - a shame Tassie couldn't quite get there, but SA were the form side and Putland's final over was an excellent piece of death bowling. just goes to show there's plenty of depth in Australian cricket, which has always been our main strength...

  • Sue on February 26, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    Congratulations to SA for winning such a fantastic game. As a neutral I too found it hard to pick which team so it made the game that much more exciting. Well played Tasmania but, for the game, the result couldn't have been better. Also, well done to SACA for opening the gates to th public for free. What a great idea!

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    We are the champions, one of the best finals I have ever seen. Has there ever been a better at the death over from a bowler? Gary Putland, that was friggin awesome mate. Its been a long time between drinks, but, SA, two titles in two years, the next one is the biggie, the Sheffield Shiled, the talent is there, it is just the self belief that is lacking. Go you good things, the Croweaters!!! Still coming down from the high of that victory. Outstanding!

  • Garry on February 25, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    Another amazing one-day game and fitting for a final of one of the best domestic comps going around. Bailey was amazing and surely not far from getting a crack in the Aussie ODI side. Some freakish death bowling from Putland to go with his handy swing at the start, has been around the scene for a while but shows what happens when you put the hard work in. Good to see Punter go well too, if only he could have got on strike in the last over. Only thing I'm disappointed in is that the Ryobi is finished for the year, always enjoy watching domestic cricket to see the talent coming through and the guys who have tasted international cricket and still have the game. The Fox team know how to televise the game too. Really like the changes of only 4 players out of the circle outside of the powerplays and the limit of 13 overs for bowlers, there is nothing wrong with the OD product, if it's balanced between all three formats, all will benefit. ICC take note.

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    And before anyone forgets - DRS saved the game and title for SA! Bailey was given not-out in the 2nd ball of the final over but the 3rd umpire overturned it with just a replay. It was a crucial game-turning title-turning decision. DRS is surely the best thing to have happened to cricket in the last decade and despite it's technical uncertainties, it is more accurate than umpires and deserves to be here. BCCI obviously doesn't take note of such instances and whines when matches like Sydney 2008 happen!

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