SA fall short of finals
Photo Source: AAP
After a breakthrough summer, South Australia have begun the new season in disappointing fashion with their 28-run loss to Tasmania on Wednesday consigning the Redbacks to a sixth-placed finish in the one-day cup.
South Australia required a bonus-point win against Tasmania and for other results to go their way in order to finish third and earn a spot in Friday's elimination final.
SA needed to overhaul Tasmania's 7-295 within 40 overs, but were dismissed for 267 off 38.4 overs.
The Redbacks were able to field a quartet of returning players who featured in Australia's disastrous one-day series against South Australia - leg-spinner Adam Zampa and batsman Travis Head among them.
Captain Head gave the run-chase impetus with 35 off 18 balls at the top of the order, and though SA kept up the required run-rate, a steady loss of wickets proved their undoing.
Tom Cooper top-scored with 63, while four other SA batsman got starts but were dismissed in the 30s.
Zampa (2-57) earned the best figures for SA, while other Australian representatives Daniel Worrall and Joe Mennie returned 1-49 and 0-40 respectively.
"It was tough but very gettable, and it is pretty disappointing not to get there," Head said of the run chase.
"The bowlers did a fantastic job to keep them to 300 on a pretty small ground and very good wicket.
"We are pretty disappointed given the group we have, we could have given this competition a pretty good shake."
Alex Doolan top-scored for Tasmania with an impressive 79 at better than a run-a-ball, and his third successive half-century left the Tigers' No.4 with the competition's best average (120.66) and the third best run aggregate (362).
But the star of the day for Tasmania was right-armer Cameron Stevenson who collected 5-32 and player of the match honours on debut.
The Redbacks reached their first Sheffield Shield final for 20 years last season, as well as an equally unexpected spot in the one-day cup decider.
Meanwhile, Head is looking to maintain his position in the Australian one-day side through weight of runs at state level.
"Runs are the currency at the minute and everyone who gets runs is pushing for the Test side," he said.
"Hopefully with a few big seasons I can do that, but for now it is doing that for the SACAs (South Australia) and keeping myself in the (Australian) one-day side.
"The (Australian) No.6 role is a tough role. But I feel like I'm playing really well at the moment, just the frustration thing is lots of (scores in the) 30s and 40s."
New South Wales will meet Victoria in Friday's elimination final, with the winner to face Queensland in Sunday's decider.