Afridi shines as South Australia beat Queensland
ADELIADE: South Australia has moved into top position after recording a convincing four-wicket win over Queensland in the sold-out Big Bash clash at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Chasing 157 for victory, South Australia kept the required run rate in check throughout their 20 overs and reached the winning target with six balls to spare - some hard hitting from Mark Cosgrove (43 off 40 balls) and Dan Christian (14 off nine deliveries) saw them home.
South Australia didn''t have a heavy scorer but nearly every batsmen contributed and overall the team came up with some big overs at crucial times.
They were also helped by some disappointing fielding from Queensland which dropped three catches, conceded a couple of unforgiveable boundaries and bowled too many wides.
Nathan Rimmington and Chris Simpson took two wickets each for the Bulls.
Shahid Afridi won his second man-of-the-match award for his 1-25 and 27 off 17 balls.
Queensland made a good start in the field conceding just four runs in the first two overs and claimed the wicket of Graham Manou for a duck - South Australia''s captain was out caught behind after chasing a Rimmington outswinger.
The Redbacks then broke the shackles with Tom Cooper and Daniel Harris taking the aerial route to the boundary.
Harris was given a life on 14 when James Hopes dropped what would''ve been a classic catch in the covers but in the next over Cooper was caught by Symonds off Ryan Harris for 18. It was a crucial dismissal as the home side had raced to 45 off just over five overs.
Harris'' eyes lit up when Simpson threw up a leg side full toss but the opener hit straight to Lee Carseldine in the outfield and the game was in the balance again at 3-56.
Cosgrove and Afridi then came together and regained momentum for the Redbacks. Afridi was particularly dangerous, hitting consecutive sixes off a Simpson''s third over - the first just clearing the leg side rope the second was lost in the construction works at Adelaide Oval.
But his big hitting was his downfall and he was cleverly caught in the deep by Craig Philipson off Hopes for a brisk 27. Philipson threw the ball into the air before he walked over the rope, regained his balance and then came back into play before coming back into play to complete the dismissal.
Kieron Pollard tried to bring rain in his lofty but short innings of nine from seven deliveries. He was dropped twice at long on - once by Ben Cutting and then by Nathan Reardon. But his luck eventually out with Rimmington remaining composed under yet another skier.
It was left to Christian and Cosgrove to finish the job and their fortuitous 16 runs in the 18th over was critical to the result.
Earlier a calculated 63 from Hopes guided Queensland to a moderate 4-156.
Hopes opened the batting and used timing and placement to hit six boundaries and a six in his 45-ball stay at the crease.
Symonds ''hacked'' 27 off 23 balls at the death and Carseldine chipped in with 20.
Afridi, Mark Cleary, Pollard and Aaron O''Brien all took a wicket while just one boundary and one six was conceded in the last five overs.