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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Redbacks comfortable with underdog status

The Redbacks come into the season decider at the WACA Ground as the underdog against a WA side defending their title from last season and featuring ten players with international experience.

South Australian all-rounder Ben Manenti said his team was under no illusions about the challenge in front of them.

“They’ve got world class players from one to eleven, and probably twelve and thirteen are playing in most state sides around the country as well,” Manenti told Sports Breakfast.

“It’s going to be a task that we’re going to have to keep chipping away at the whole day. It’s not just going to happen through one good phase of cricket, it’s going to require 100 good overs.

“It’d be a pretty good story to be able to knock them over in their home ground. I don’t think too many people have given us a chance, which is fine, we know within our own walls that we’re good enough to be here and good enough to knock them over.”

After several years in the doldrums, including going 17 Sheffield Shield games without a win, the Redbacks have shown significant signs of improvement this year, currently sitting fourth on the red ball ladder to go with the white ball final berth.

Manenti said putting together complete games of cricket was an ongoing area of focus.

“We’ve got a pretty harsh wrap over the last few years about our results and performances and stuff like that. It hasn’t been smooth sailing, you’ve got to be pretty oblivious to ignore some of the comments people make about South Australia,” he said.

“To be playing in a final tomorrow, hopefully puts a few of those comments to rest.

“By no means are we the finished product or anything like that but I think we’re definitely heading in the right direction.”

After coming onto the scene with the Sydney Sixers in the BBL and making his first class and List A debuts with Tasmania last summer, he 25 year old has been a success story for the Redbacks in his first season as a state contracted cricketer, claiming 30 wickets with his offspin to go with 606 runs at a healthy strike rate across formats.

Manenti said the key to his batting success was sticking to a simple plan.

“It’s see it and hit it. It’s not going to come off all the time by any means, I’m nowhere near a finished product, but it’s nice to be able to contribute and certainly contribute in some of the spots where we’re in a bit of trouble,” he said.

“I’m not going to change the way I play at the moment while it’s going well, hopefully I can keep doing that and keep chipping in.

“It has been a bit of a journey the last few years, but I feel like I’ve found a home now in South Australia. It wasn’t obviously smooth sailing for a chunk of it, but now I’m right at home.”

The first ball will be bowled at 12:05pm tomorrow.


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