By Peter Argent

While the famed Festival Fringe had many acts playing around the Adelaide CBD on Saturday evening, February 25, at the home of SA sport, there was plenty of theatre as well.

For South Australia they had a Doctor who was trying prove he still had what it takes to impact for his cricket side, a Victorian born captain wanting to display Croweater patriotism.

… And in the final over a left arm quick bowler who was trying to redeem himself after dropping Australia’s second best batsman after Bradman.

For the Tasmanian’s, chunky northern suburb Adelaide export Mark Cosgrove was out to spoil the Croweaters party, and Ricky Ponting was to prove he was still a capable one-day cricketer after a run of outs in national colours.

Daniel “Doc” Harris and Captain “Max” Klinger got the home side off to a great start with an opening stand of 133 runs, but except for Theo Doropoulos, who still threw his wicket away, too many the bats didn’t make the most of solid starts.

Talk around the bars (members stand, Bradman stand and scoreboard) at the break centred around the Redbacks total of 285 on this Adelaide Oval road being 10 to 15 runs short of an unbeatable score.

Question mark quickly surfaced about SA going in without that fifth bowler surfaced during the Tasmanian’s innings.

Cosgrove displayed his mixture of subtle hands and powerful stroke play during his 69 at the top of the order, before being caught in the deep.

George Bailey’s century was a masterpiece, before he was dismissed with his side in sight of the Tigers third one-day cup victory in five years, while Ponting, helped by a couple of dropped catches, remained unbeaten and stranded on 75.

Big sixes which went deep into the members area by Ponting and Bailey seemed to have the visitors heading to certain victory, with five runs needs for victory off the last six balls of the game, to be bowled by young left hander Gary Putland.

The Tassie side were 10/1 on for victory at this point.

The last over is worth recounting.

Ball one: Ponting pushes a single down the ground.

Ball two: Bailey’s hit in front of his stumps and initially given not out, with the umpire saying he got a nick on it.

After a review the decision was changed and Putland gets his first wicket of the contest. This was a pivotal moment and breaks a 174-run fourth wicket partnership.

Ball three: James Faulkner squeezes out a “Yorker”, which somehow goes to fine-ish leg and gets two runs.

Ball four: Another Putland “Yorker”. No run and now the equation is – two runs required for victory from two balls.

Ball Five:  Faulkner just gets bat on ball with all the field in. At shortish mid on ‘Doc’ Harris motions to throw, but holds on the ball, after changing his mind as both batsman scramble back to their respective creases.

There then was an eternity before the final delivery was bowled.

Firstly the SA brains trust had a long discussion about field placings, and then coach Darren Berry sent out 13th man James Smith with instructions.

In an unusual tactic Ponting then decided to discard his pads, throwing them to a substitute, who ran them off.

Ball Six: Putland beats Faulkner’s swinging bat and while the Tasmanian’s scramble through for a bye, the scores are locked away.  Because SA finished higher on the ladder, they win the one-day crown for the first time in a generation.

On the Adelaide Oval pitch the Redbacks players embrace in the same way as the footballers do after a Grand Final victory.

The coaching staff and support charge onto the area to embrace the cricketing heroes of a state.

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