Bushrangers survive Redbacks scare
No matter what Shaun Tait can do, the South Australian batsmen will do worse.
That appeared to be the moral to the story after the Redbacks folded for 137 in pursuit of Victoria's modest 9-142 in the Twenty20 match at Adelaide Oval.
Their successful defence is likely to put the title-holding Bushrangers into the competition final against Western Australia in Perth on Sunday.
Sent in to bat, the Victorians had battled to their total after Hussey (50, 37 balls) maintained his superlative form to retrieve the innings from the depths of 4-26, which had been largely due to a steamed up Tait (3-28).
SA openers Daniel Harris (48) and Cameron Borgas (17) added 57 in a spritely 47 balls to seemingly put the target within reach, only for the familiar clatter of wickets to depress a crowd of 4,580.
Powerful NSW import Daniel Christian (40, 21 balls) was alone in showing any composure or poise among the middle and lower order, but he was last out, caught on the long off boundary by Hussey, with seven runs still required.
Bryce McGain (2-10 in four overs) befuddled Borgas and also dismissed Harris in a highly influential spell, while Clinton McKay (2-34) also did his bit.
The Redbacks had managed a meagre top score of 134 in their three completed matches so far, prompting captain Nathan Adcock to bowl first on winning the toss, stifling temperatures notwithstanding.
He was to be rewarded for his choice by a white hot burst from Tait, who first disturbed the stumps of Aiden Blizzard then fired down a swerving yorker that claimed Cameron White lbw first ball.
Hussey negotiated the hat-trick ball, but next over Tait blasted out Andrew McDonald with another delivery of full length to give him three wickets in four balls.
Tait's new ball partner Harris also contributed by delivering one bouncer that cracked Blizzard's helmet before later forcing a Brad Hodge nick, and the losses left Hussey much to do.
He responded with another contribution characterised by deft placement and the odd clean blow, and would later claim the wicket of Adcock at the bowling crease as the Redbacks lost their way.