Redbacks upset Warriors by 35 runs
South Australia followed through on their threat to be a Twenty20 force this summer, unseating last year's Big Bash finalists Western Australia by 36 runs in a rain-shortened affair at Adelaide Oval.
Apart from a crazed collapse of 6-15 in 16 balls to close their innings, the Redbacks proved a far more professional outfit than last season when they failed to win a game, piling up 182 after skipper Graham Manou chose to bat first in front of 9,254 spectators.
Callum Ferguson (58, 38 balls) and Daniel Harris (35, 20 balls) made the most meaningful contributions.
The Warriors were never comfortable in their revised chase of 158 from 17 overs, finishing at 6-121.
Mark Cleary (2-26), Gary Putland (2-22) and Pakistani Sohail Tanvir (1-19) all bowled well, while Ferguson claimed a pair of smart outfield catches.
SA had looked capable of scoring anything at 4-167 in the 17th over, but some fine bowling by WA's Pakistani quick Umar Gul (4-15) and a handful of silly strokes saw the Redbacks bundled out inside their 20 overs.
Nicknamed "Sea-Gul" by teammates, Gul earlier bowled a thrifty new ball spell, and humbled Michael Klinger by delivering a world-class yorker that was much too good for the Sheffield Shield's runaway leading scorer.
WA's reply was destabilised by the second over loss of Shaun Marsh, flicking Putland straight to Ferguson in the deep, then delayed by a brief rain interruption that reduced the target when the Warriors were 1-37 after 5.1 overs.
When play resumed the greasy conditions were well suited to Cleary, who struck the hammer blows by having Luke Pomersbach (24) skying a catch before removing the off stump of Marcus North (15) next ball.
Pomersbach's wicket came at a cost to Redbacks 12th man Jake Brown, who ran headlong from cover into the knee of catcher Ferguson, suffering a bloody nose in the process.
Watching from the commentary box, Jason Gillespie had painful flashbacks of his similarly sickening collision with Steve Waugh at Kandy in Sri Lanka in 1999.
The rest of the innings petered out, despite the best efforts of Adam Voges (28).
Man of the match Ferguson said SA's recent double bonus point one-day win over NSW in Sydney had injected a decent amount of confidence.
"That one-day win up in Sydney was a big one for us where we got two bonus points," he said.
"That really got the ball rolling for us and we went into this one really confident."
WA skipper North was generous in his praise of Gul, who was one of few positives for the vanquished visitors.
"It was a pleasure to give him the ball," he said.
"These guys can not only come over here and perform well but also pass on that experience, that knowledge on to us."