I know the final was a week ago, but I’ve been wanting to do a recap of one of the best cricket matches I’ve ever seen. In the Ryobi One-Day Cup (a domestic one day tournament in Australia) final, the South Australian Redbacks tied with Tasmania Tigers, which was good enough to win them the tournament. The atmosphere was intense, and in the first innings, Redbacks captain Michael Klinger scored 81 runs to lead his team to a strong 285 score. The second innings was what defined this game, however. Klinger’s opposing captain, for Tasmania, George Bailey, scored 101 and was part of a 174-run partnership with Ricky Ponting, but got out in the last over by lbw (leg before wicket, for those of you who don’t know cricket) on a low full toss as part of a spectacular over by Gary Putland.
Putland was the star of the show, as Tasmania was completely in control going into the final over, needing only 5 to win, but he shut down both batsmen, and Tasmania could only manage 4 off the final over. Putland’s yorkers were too much for Bailey, Ponting, and James Faulkner, who came in after Bailey’s dismissal.
Ricky Ponting, fresh off the news that he had been axed from the Australian ODI side, unofficially ending his ODI career, shined in this match, scoring 75 not out, but was lucky more than once, as some of his shots barely eclipsed the Redbacks’ fielders.
Not to degrade Ponting’s performance, as he continued his levelheaded performance throughout. However, the fielding, especially that of the Redbacks, was decent at best, as several dropped chances occured. Ponting was dropped a few times, and there were simple catches that managed to stay out of the fielders’ hands.
However, this match was nothing but special, and the last few overs, especially the last 2 or 3 overs, were absolutely fantastic to watch, and the crowd was wide awake as well, cheering on their favorite teams. The last over in particular was just awesome, as Gary Putland held the Tigers to 4 runs.
I feel bad for George Bailey, who did all he could to win the game for his team, with a century, and then his team needed only 5 runs to win in the final over after he got out, but they couldn’t do it.
However, this was South Australia’s first domestic title in 25 years, so I’m sure the entire team was ecstatic with the win. It was well deserved, too.
Congratulations to the South Australian Redbacks!