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SHEFFIELD SHIELD 2016-17

Mennie key for Redbacks: Head

20 March 2017

Mennie reasons for the Redbacks to smile after paceman's scintillating return to Shield cricket against Hobart

Paceman Joe Mennie could prove the key to South Australia's Sheffield Shield success, skipper Travis Head believes.

Returning to the competition after a life-threatening head injury suffered during Big Bash training in January, the 28-year-old made an explosive comeback taking nine wickets across two innings in Hobart.

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The subsequent 193-run win against Tasmania and a perfect combination of other results has seen SA sneak into the Shield final against Victoria and skipper Travis Head is thankful for his star quick's return.

"Joe is outstanding. (His return) has come at the right time for us, (offering) fresh legs," Head told AAP.

Initially thought to have suffered concussion while bowling in the nets for the Sydney Sixers, scans later showed a fracture and brain bleed.

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"He had to take as much time out as possible and was probably lucky to play this game," Head said in Hobart.

"All the recovery process went well and went fast and it was always a push getting him for this game, but credit to him for getting back on the park so quickly and then credit to come straight out and take nine wickets and bowl the house down.

"He's definitely going to be key because it's been a long season for most of the bowlers in the competition and for someone who's only played half a season, he'll be able to do a good job."

The final match-up against Victoria makes for a repeat of last season's Shield decider, which SA lost.

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Head is not underestimating the ability of the Bushrangers ahead of Sunday's final, to be played at Alice Springs.

"They've won seven games for a reason this year. It's always going to be a tough ask," the captain said.

"We've had moments of good games against them, moments of good sessions so we know we can do it.

"It would be nice after last year's disappointment."

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