South Australian captain Michael Klinger praised paceman Gary Putland's 'unbelievable' final over which helped the Redbacks secure a Ryobi Cup trophy-winning tie against Tasmania at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
Chasing 286 for victory, the Tigers - with captain George Bailey and veteran Ricky Ponting batting brilliantly - stayed in touch with the asking rate before getting right on top after belting 41 off overs 46-49 to suddenly require just five off the last over to secure the title.
But left-arm seamer Putland's metronomic accuracy and full length made him hard to get away and the Tigers could muster only four runs in the final over with James Faulkner on strike after Putland captured the key wicket of Bailey (101) earlier in the over.
"Gary Putland has been working on his death bowling for the last three, four years since I've been here and it's all come to fruition tonight," said victorious skipper Michael Klinger, who joins former Test wicketkeeper Kevin Wright (1983-84) and the late David Hookes (1986-87) as South Australia's only title-winning one-day captains.
"He's done it a number of times ... but what an unbelievable over."
"I couldn't be more proud of the boys. Yes, we dropped a couple of chances, but we kept at it, we kept at it, we stayed brave at the end."
"They had Ricky back tonight and as we saw, he almost got them over the line."
"We tried everything not to get him back on strike in that last over and I have to thank some of my senior guys who recommended to get all the field up because if Ricky had got back on strike, they probably would have won the game."
"We brought everyone up, we took a risk, we were brave and 'Puts' executed everything he wanted to ... unbelievable."
Klinger only found out that a tie would be sufficient for his side to win the trophy just after the toss when he and rival skipper George Bailey were informed as such by match referee Peter Marshall.
"The match referee came up and told us after the toss," said Klinger, who earlier top-scored with 81 and finished the competition as the leading run-scorer.
"I didn't think twice about it (tie) to be honest, (but) it probably came into my mind in that last over when they needed five (to win)."
On the second ball of the 50th over, Putland snared the key wicket of Bailey lbw, following a video review which saw the officiating umpire reverse his original decision to give the Tassie skipper the benefit of the doubt.
Klinger felt the final decision was the correct one and came at an opportune time for the Redbacks, with the game seemingly slipping out of their reach.
"We took our time a little to give the third umpire time to see it," Klinger said. "We slowed everything down."
"He had another look and it was given out as it rightly should have been."
"(It was) a gutsy decision by the third umpire, but the right one by the look of it."
"We thought it was out and then when it was given, it gave us the opportunity to bowl some really good yorkers to a new batter."
The Redbacks have copped a lot of stick in recent times but this result gives them their rightful chance to again experience the other side of the ledger after they won the Big Bash title last season.
"This is unbelievable," he exclaimed. "What an unbelievably great thing for South Australian cricket and the South Australian public that rocked up tonight."
"We've copped a lot of crap, but we've deserved it."
"The media have been really fair on us - when we've played well, they've come out and said it and when we've played poorly we've deserved everything we've copped."
"We've won two pieces of silverware for the Redbacks in the past two years which I think many teams would die to do that."
"We're super happy, the crowd's happy, we're going to really enjoy this win tonight and tomorrow."
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 26 February, 2012 12:17PM AEST