About the Match
Facing a stiff competition from NSW and Queensland, South Australia will try to surge ahead to the finals of the Sheffield Shield with a win in the upcoming decider against Tasmania at Hobart on 16th March. While South Australia has 39.99 points and is placed 4th on the table, Tasmania is at the rock bottom with a meager 17 points and is out of contention. It will be interesting to see if South Australia will up its ante here to make it through.
They lost their recent game against Queensland in a humiliating way by an innings and 172 runs, after a dismal show by bowlers and batsmen. Batting first, they could muster only 150 runs in the first innings and were all out for a measly 115 in the second. Captain George Bailey failed to lead from the front, and players like Hancock, McDermott, Doolan, Tim Paine and Faulkner couldn’t build steady partnerships with the bat.
Bowlers like Andrew Perrin, Milenko, Faulkner and Stevenson took regular wickets but they hardly had much to fight for. Against NSW, Rainbird and Perrin put up a disciplined attack, taking 2 wickets each and giving away just above 2 runs per over while Milenko claimed 4 wickets. Faulkner also contributed with 2 quick breakthroughs and helped restrict the opponents to 253 runs; thanks to bad weather, the contest led to a draw but the ray of hope was George Bailey’s smashing 200 off 389 in the first innings that helped them amass 490 runs.
They haven’t been able to capitalize on the good resources they have, leading to their ouster from the tournament after the upcoming match. However, they could put up a tough fight here, making things difficult for South Australia to reserve a berth in the finals.
Callum Ferguson is in tremendous form, as seen from his 103 off 204 against NSW in the recent match. Travis Head, Lehmann, and Carey have also been contributing well with the bat and add depth to the batting line-up. Although they lost the match against NSW by 8 wickets, their spirits will be high here to try and make it to the title clash against Victoria.
Fast-bowler Worrall’s brilliant 5-85 in 25 overs in the first innings against NSW helped them get the opposition all-out for 434 in reply to their 229; spinner Adam Zampa also finished with a total of 4 scalps, which is a good sign for the team. Against Queensland, Zampa had taken a total of 10 wickets while medium pacer Chadd Sayers and Worrall took 3 scalps each to help win the match by 6 wickets. The squad also has others like Head and Richardson, who add variety to the attack.
Overall, they have done well till now and could try to put up a better performance to keep their campaign alive.
Tasmania had a poor run this year and have no chance to make it through; however, they have talented players who can put South Australia in the pressure zone. While the contest could swing either way, we feel that South Australia bowlers could be the deciding factor that will help them win.