It had been 604 days since the South Australian Redbacks last won a Men’s domestic cricket match. On a rainy day in Adelaide, captain Travis Head broke records as he scored a double-century and set his side up for a drought-breaking 67 run victory against Queensland at Karen Rolton Oval.
Scoring 230 runs from 127 balls, which is the second-highest score in the history of Australian Men’s One-Day Cup, Head’s fast start and keenness to get into the match helped him get settled at the crease.
The double-century was struck off just 114 balls (including 25 fours and seven sixes), his second hundred came from just 49 deliveries.
After the match, Head said it was nice to find some form and feel comfortable out in the middle.
“It was obviously off the back of the Shield game, playing well and having a couple weeks off, I was obviously keen to get back into it,” he explained.
“It was nice to start on the right foot and get some runs and contribute to a really, really good win.”
He was not the only contributor; his 244 run partnership with Jake Weatherald was a record second-wicket partnership for South Australia in the Men’s One Day Domestic competition.
“I felt like Weather’s played exceptionally well, he deserved a hundred,” Head said.
After a rain delay in the 40th over, Head continued to power on at the crease with Nathan McSweeney, before McSweeney was removed by Jack Wildermuth for 37 runs.
South Australia attacked everything in the final few overs, resulting in a flurry of wickets to end the shortened innings, losing 6/37 to finish 8/391. The total was the Redbacks’ second-highest total from 48 overs.
More rain interrupted play, meaning Queensland’s DLS target of 397 runs in 48 overs was adjusted again to 380 from 44 overs after the delay in the 20th.
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The Redbacks were prepared for Queensland to come out firing early on in the innings, with the weather unpredictable and the target rising at every delay. However, strong bowling by new recruit, and former Queenslander, Brendan Doggett and leg-spinner Lloyd Pope quickly put the pressure on the visiting side.
“We knew that they were going to come hard at us, which they did,” Head recalled.
“I felt the composure, obviously Doggy (Doggett) – there’s a reason why we got a guy like that to come to the state, so he was exceptional in his first up start.
“I’m looking forward to him bowling the Shield game – a real potentness.
“There’s a reason we’ve probably why we’re working leg-spin this week, to try and be more attacking through the middle there and try and take wickets through the middle.
“I felt like there were stages when he (Doggett) bowled really, really well and took wickets throughout, which is what we want through the middle of the game,” Head explained.
Sam Heazlett held steady at one end for Queensland, but the wickets of Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne for just six and 12 runs respectively left the bulk of the chasing to the opener.
Things looked to settle with Matthew Renshaw joining Heazlett at the crease. The breakthrough came for South Australia though, with Alex Carey’s quick movement behind the stumps off Pope’s bowling scoring the wicket of Heazlett (93 from 59).
Regular Queensland wickets continued to fall, each saw South Australia move a step closer to winning its first domestic match since February 2020.
Doggett and Pope both finished with four wickets, as South Australia bowled Queensland out to secure a 67 run victory.
Both states’ attention now turns to a Sheffield Shield game, starting on Friday at Adelaide Oval.
Looking ahead to the match-up, Head said a good day today will mean there is a good feeling heading into the Shield game.
“It’s important to start the first innings well.
“There’s going to be a bit of weather around in the next couple of days, so making sure we’re ready to go and obviously playing Queensland, they’ll want to come back harder and we’ve got to make sure we start on the right foot again.”
South Australia will host Queensland for the Sheffield Shield clash, with play set to begin at Adelaide Oval at 10:30 am local time on October 15.