Well to make a long story short, after losing the toss and thus bowling first, the Redbacks' new ball bowling basically gave away all the runs that made the total unchaseable. While the two Dans, Redbacks Player Of The Year Dan Christian and Dr Daniel Harris, bowled wonderfully at max 6/ov and took four of the five wickets, Shaun Tait leaked a shocking 13.25 per over, and opening with the spinners was perhaps not the smartest move (although in the Big Bash it worked at times). I am not blaming Taito for the large Saffa total but he's had one of his mitchy lowlights today. Hats off to JJ Smuts for his 88 off 65; Saffa greats Mark Boucher and Colin Ingram made the best of their stays at the crease as well.
Having to chase 172 the Redbacks batsmen crumbled in the face of the classy South African bowling attack, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Rusty Theron, Johan Botha, Wayne Parnell, Nicky Boje are all experienced campaigners and past or present fixtures in the South African national side and I must admit that their experience made the difference here. It felt a bit like two different worlds clashing and the side with plenty of internationals in it came out on top.
Generally the competition is a lot tougher this year and due to the qualification round all of the weak teams got eliminated prior to the group stage, unlike last year when there were still a few punching balls around, on whose defeats you could coast to the semis. I guess the Champions League really deserves its name this time.
The Redbacks will now have to look how to plan for the next match, whether to stick with the three-pronged spin crown, or to throw another seamer into the mix. Gary Putland has done a good job for the Redbacks over the last years, and Big Bash final protagonist Kane Richardson is surely keen to get a shot as well. I'm having the feeling that perhaps Ben Edmondson could have added value to the attack... :(
This post also appeared on DieHard Cricket Fans