South Australia 7 for 296 (Ferguson 91, Carey 79, Lehmann 54*) beat Queensland 9 for 295 (Labuschagne 135, Agar 5-69) by three wickets
A staggering cameo from legspinner Adam Zampa helped South Australia steal a three-wicket win over Queensland at the Gabba with just two balls to spare.
Zampa walked to the crease with the Redbacks needing 49 from 27 balls with just three wickets in hand and he clubbed 35 not out from 15 delivers in a dazzling, scarcely believable display of batting to completely overshadow Marnus Labuschagne’s maiden List A century from earlier in the day.
Jake Lehmann made 54 not out from 64 balls but he was truly a support act to Zampa and had struggled to find the boundary throughout his innings.
Zampa launched the last ball off the 47th over from Billy Stanlake over long-on for six, but Michael Neser conceded just six runs from the 48th, leaving Zampa and Lehmann to score 27 off 12 balls to win the game. Zampa crunched Stanlake on the up wide of mid-off and then hooked him for six but Lehmann played and missed off the last ball of the penultimate over giving Neser 15 runs to defend off the last six balls.
He couldn’t defend them in four. Zampa scooped the first ball for six over fine leg, cover drove an attempted wide yorked for four, pulled a short ball behind square to the boundary and crunched a straight drive to finish it with two balls to spare.
Zampa was named player of the match after earlier taking 2 for 66 with the ball, trumping Wes Agar’s maiden five-wicket haul, Callum Ferguson’s 91, Alex Carey’s 79 and Labuschagne’s magnificent century.
Just two days after steering Queensland home from a precarious position in a fourth-innings run chase in the Sheffield Shield against the Redbacks, Labuschagne conjured another superb counter-attack following a top-order collapse making a career-high 135 in Queensland’s total of 9 for 295.
The Bulls slumped to 4 for 24 in the eighth over with Agar claiming all four wickets. Max Bryant was clean bowled playing across the line while Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns both chopped on. Matt Renshaw was hit on the toe and adjudged lbw first ball in between.
Labuschagne, having made 72 not out after the Bulls slumped to 5 for 54 in the Shield game, picked up where he left off playing with a dominance that belies his overall record. He put together a 110-run stand with Jimmy Peirson to dig his team out of trouble and then found further allies in Neser and Ben Cutting.
Labuschagne had failed to convert his nine previous List A half-centuries, and his last seven first-class half-centuries, into three figures but finally broke the drought launching a towering six off Zampa to go from 94 to 100 in style.
South Australia’s chase started poorly with Jake Weatherald and Travis Head both falling in the opening five overs to Jack Wildermuth. Carey and Ferguson then resurrected the chase with a 117-run stand. Carey put on a masterclass scoring 79 of them as the Redbacks appeared on track but when he ran himself out trying to steal an unnecessary single to Bryant at cover the chase stumbled. The in-form Tom Cooper was cleaned bowled through the gate for 2 by Neser.
Ferguson and Lehmann rebuilt but the required run-rate began to climb. With 86 needed from 54 balls, Lehmann was dropped at long-off by Neser off Matt Kuhnemann. Two balls later Ferguson fell for 91, top-edging a sweep to short fine leg. All looked lost when Luke Robins and Cam Valente holed out. But Zampa stole the show.