South Australia’s bowlers were tested on a dry, fairly slow pitch and only succeeded when their medium-pacers, particularly Daniel Harris, made use of variations and changes of pace.
Ashwell Prince was unable to continue from where he left off on Friday against the Royal Challengers Bangalore and was bowled by the pacy Shaun Tait in the second over. Tait’s speed was too much for Prince, who tried to play a full ball on the leg side but missed and had his middle stump uprooted. Prince’s dismissal was the only success South Australia had in the Powerplay, as Smuts and Colin Ingram hit top gear.
Smuts dispatched Adil Rashid, who opened the bowling, and showed no fear in taking on Tait, regardless of whether he bowled full or short. Ingram swept impressively, particularly against Nathan Lyon, and the pair raced to 59 in six overs. Lyon and Aaron O’Brien gave away only one boundary from the next two overs, but it was when Harris came on, the runs dried up.
He bowled a good wicket-to-wicket line and frustrated Ingram, who tried to take him on at the start of the 11th over. The South African latched onto a short ball but didn’t have enough on it to carry cow corner and was caught. With Smuts tiring and Boucher battling to find his feet upfront, Christian and O’Brien pulled the run-rate down to under eight an over. Smuts continued to punish the short balls and Boucher finally got going with a lofted shot over O’Brien’s head that went for four.
Tait’s inconsistency allowed both Smuts and Boucher to prepare for an innings-ending burst. Smuts dealt with his full deliveries in smashing style and Tait bowled a no-ball, sprayed five wides down the leg-side and battled to get the yorker right consistently. It was into Tait’s hands that Smuts eventually fell though. He looked well placed to get a century, but was dismissed trying to play an innovative scoop over short fine leg off Harris. Christian took two wickets in the final over to stop the Warriors from exploding at the end.