Tasmania defeated South Australia in its first match of the men’s division of the National Indigenous Cricket Championships in a close encounter in Alice Springs.
SA won the toss elected to bat against a Tasmanian side playing their first match of the carnival.
Opening batsman and captain of SA Tyrell Sinclair (20) scored heavily on the off-side piercing the field and finding the fence on multiple occasions.
However just when he started to look settled, he was dismissed by Liam Ward.
With momentum swinging in Tasmania’s favour the new man at the crease Ayden McGregor-Baptista took 12 runs off a Jackson Clifford over and it was once again game on.
However, after a short onslaught McGregor-Baptista was out caught at mid-off from a miss-timed attempted shot across the body and at the drinks break SA were 3/80 off 20 overs.
Tasmania relished an opportunity as Jackson Clifford took a straight forward outfield catch off Rhys Ward’s bowling dismissing opener Jack Coppins, who top-scored for SA with a patient yet aggressive 50 off 113 balls.
The very next ball Ward had Dylan McGregor-Baptista (3) caught at mid-on, placing him on a hat-trick. The hat-trick ball was speared full at the stumps down to Blayne O’Loughlin, which he clipped to fine leg for a single.
Tasmania finished the game using eight different bowlers. The best with the ball was Rhys Ward who had multiple bowling spells throughout the day, finishing with the 5/20 off 10 overs. South Australia finished all out for 151 off 48.2 overs.
From the first ball of Tasmania’s innings the SA team had them on the back foot and they quickly found themselves in trouble at 3/12.
Opening batsman Brodie Hayes (57*) and Kristian Nikolai (9), recovered the innings until Nikolai was clean bowled by Jack Coppins with his middle stump tumbling out of the ground.
Tasmania’s Captain Rhys Ward, batting at six, came to the crease on a mission. Ward made runs at a solid run rate making the most of the bad balls and regularly finding the boundary.
Ward was eventually dismissed for 48 thanks to an incredible diving forward catch on the boundary from Tanner Coulthard.
Despite the loss of Ward coming into the 35th over, Tasmania needed just 50 runs from 15 overs with five wickets in hand.
Hayes took control as others fell around him to get Tasmania into the box seat needing only 12 runs from six overs with still three wickets in hand.
Keeping the match interesting Steven Hudson hit a ball straight into the air for an easy catch by short cover and Tasmania will needed five runs with just two wickets in hand. However, with the pressure on Tasmania, a bad leg-side wide raced to the boundary levelling the scores before a leg side-glance brought up the victory.
Tasmania won the match by two wickets with three overs to spare. Opener Brodie Hayes finished 57* of 130 balls.
Full scorecard of the match can be found here. Match report adapted from www.nicc.cricket.com.au.