Warner leads Blues to victory
An explosive knock by Dave Warner has led New South Wales to a four-wicket victory against a plucky South Australia in the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash clash at Adelaide Oval.
Pursuing a victory target of 161, the Blues were cruising at 2-127 but were given a scare by a rampaging Shaun Tait (3-30 in his comeback game) and two wickets in a Dan Cullen over.
They hit the winning runs with 10 balls to spare.
Warner blasted 65 from 35 balls and bludgeoned seven boundaries and four sixes.
The man of the match, who tested a bat specifically made for Twenty20 cricket, used the conventional face of the blade with his boundaries hit to all parts of the ground.
He went to the members' side for his sixes with his pull shot against Tait landing on the top of the George Giffen Stand.
The 22-year-old shared in an 88-run opening stand with Phill Hughes who played a less obtrusive knock eventually finishing with 30 off 29 balls.
Dominic Thornely kept the visitors' momentum going with some powerful hitting of his own and played a significant role in the victory with his quick-fire 28.
The 11th over was an eventful one for the Blues' skipper with the right hander backing away to clear the fence before getting caught off a free hit.
New South Wales was cruising with two wickets down but Tait beat Moises Henriques for pace and had him caught and bowled while Thornely had his castle rattled two deliveries later.
Cullen then bowled Ben Rohrer and Steve Smith was run out in the same over. But the visitors steadied and collected the two competition points.
Earlier in the game the Redbacks made a promising start to contest, with Daniel Harris and Michael Klinger finding the boundary, but the home side lost direction in the middle overs as the Blues bowled well.
Tom Cooper hit a steady 46 off 41 balls and shared in a 62-run partnership with Dan Christian who made 31 off 26 deliveries.
South Australia was poised for a big score but lost five wickets in the last two overs – a collapse similar to the one displayed in an earlier home game against Western Australia.
Nathan Bracken took three scalps in his final over to finish with 3-38 while Aaron Bird took a wicket with his first delivery and finished with 3-35.
Thornely bowled off-spinners and had impressive figures (1-14 off three overs) before he was smashed for 13 in his last over.
It was a solid effort by the Blues but they could've had the home side in more trouble if they had taken their chances.
Cooper was dropped by Steve Smith at long on when he was on 14 while Christian was given a life by wicketkeeper Daniel Smith who missed the bails when trying to run out his opponent.
The errors cost the visitors 51 runs.
After six overs, the Redbacks were looking good at 1-54. But the introduction of Thornely and some steady efforts from the other bowlers reduced the run-rate.