Victoria 8 for 256 (Hussey 87, Hastings 69*, Richardson 5-61) beat South Australia 7 for 255 (Ferguson 110, Klinger 87, Ahmed 3-47) by 2 wickets
John Hastings and Darren Pattinson held their nerve to steer Victoria to a tense two-wicket victory over South Australia that confirmed their place in the Ryobi Cup final. Callum Ferguson scored his first one-day hundred of the summer to push the Redbacks to 7 for 255 but his efforts went in vain, as did a five-wicket haul from Kane Richardson, as David Hussey and then Hastings anchored a chase that went down to the last over.
Both teams knew that victory would secure them a place in the final and when Hussey was bowled by Richardson for 87 off 86 balls and then Will Sheridan was caught behind next ball, Victoria were 7 for 187 and the Redbacks appeared all but home. However, Hastings and Scott Boland put on 31 for the eighth wicket and then Pattinson joined Hastings for an unbeaten 38-run stand that got the Victorians to their goal.
The Man of the Match, Hastings, was the key with an unbeaten 69 from 57 balls, including three sixes, but Pattinson was the unlikely batting hero in the final over, bowled by Daniel Christian. The Bushrangers needed eight from the last six balls and instead of worrying about giving the strike to Hastings, Pattinson thumped the first ball over long-on for six and the remaining two runs then came easily.
It was a remarkable recovery after Richardson (5 for 61) demolished the top order and reduced Victoria to 4 for 60 and then 5 for 124. At that stage, South Australia's total appeared more than enough, set up as it was by Ferguson and Michael Klinger in a 162-run second-wicket stand. Klinger fell short of a hundred, trapped on 87 by a wrong'un from the legspinner Fawad Ahmed, who was playing his first Ryobi Cup game.
Ahmed was very impressive in collecting 3 for 47 from 13 overs, finding plenty of turn and beating several batsmen with his googly. But Ferguson's solid innings of 110 from 125 balls, including seven fours and two sixes, kept the Redbacks moving along, although the captain Johan Botha (24) was the only other batsman to reach double figures.
Although the result was disappointing for South Australia they still have a strong chance of making the final, needing only one win from their remaining two matches to lock in a spot and prevent the third-placed Queensland from advancing.