One thing that has always frustrated me with the scheduling of cricket in Australia is that when the Australian side are playing Tests, the domestic sides are playing T20s.
Run gluttons Phil Hughes and Michael Klinger feasted on Queensland to deliver South Australia a crunching nine-wicket victory in Sunday’s one-day match at Adelaide Oval.
Responding to Queensland’s 189 all out, the Redbacks cruised to 1-192 in the 37th over, banking a bonus point for reaching their target within 40 overs.
Hughes (95 not out) and Klinger (72) cashed in after Redbacks paceman Kane Richardson ripped through the Bulls’ batsmen to take 6-48, the equal third-best bowling figures by a South Australian in a domestic one-dayer.
Only seven bowlers have returned better domestic one-day figures than Richardson, who claimed four victims in an eight-ball span.
His teammates Hughes and Klinger then cracked a 138-run opening partnership from 24.1 overs to ensure Queensland remain winless from their opening two games in the tournament.
Hughes continued his prolific start to the season for his adopted state, the left-hander now second highest run-scorer in the one-day cup and third highest in the Sheffield Shield.
The ex-NSW batsman faced 104 balls, struck nine boundaries and his second six sealed the triumph.
Earlier, Richardson’s purple patch with the ball began when Bulls recruit Usman Khawaja tarnished his polished start.
Khawaja moved with ease to 57 by smacking Richardson for a leg-side six, but tried a reckless repeat three balls later and was caught at wide mid-on.
In Richardson’s next over, the quick claimed three victims and the Bulls were in the midst of sliding from 1-89 to 7-131.
Only late resistance by Joe Burns (51) and Brad Ipson (33), who put on 57 runs for the eighth wicket, added a semblance of respectability for the visitors, who were bowled out in the 49th over.
Hughes was rapt to help deliver SA’s first win in any format this season.
“It was nice to get a few runs and I thought Maxy (Klinger) batted beautifully,” Hughes said.
“But it was all set up with the ball and in the field, it all really clicked tonight.
“For Richardson to get the six wickets, it really set it up.”
Hughes said the bonus point could be precious in the later stages of the one-day competition.
“It (the bonus point) was always in the back of our minds,” he said.
“It was just about getting a partnership, and we had that 100-plus run partnership which was crucial.”