Jake Lehmann and Nathan McSweeney gladly accepted the opportunity to be final day heroes against NSW, reeling in the required runs at a remarkable rate to bring first-class success south and spark celebrations for a new-look team that has toiled hard all summer.

Built on a spread of contributions from the entire team including a sublime century from skipper Henry Hunt, two brilliant knocks from Harry Nielsen and relentless contributions from the bowling unit of Doggett, McAndrew, Buckingham and Scott, the win signals an offseason for the Redbacks that will begin with two of sport’s most important ingredients: momentum and belief.

Four debutants received caps before play at Karen Rolton Oval as Jordan Buckingham, Bailey Capel and Thomas Kelly began their first-class careers with South Australia and Blake Nikitaras got his maiden look for NSW.

Electing to field first when the coin fell his way, Hunt threw the ball to spearhead Doggett and young gun Buckingham to begin proceedings beneath a cloud-laden Adelaide sky. The former delivered a breakthrough in just the seventh over, removing Ryan Hackney for a duck with the assistance of Harry Nielsen behind the stumps.

NSW debutant Blake Nikitaras then combined with Matthew Gilkes for a steadying 73-run partnership, but it was when the visiting skipper, Jason Sangha, strode to the crease that the game began to move meaningfully forward.

Not dismissed until the very end of the innings early on the second morning, Sangha crunched 18 boundaries during a dominant performance that yielded 142 runs during a marathon 235 ball knock, guiding his side to a total of 294 all out.

Doggett and Buckingham were the stars with the ball, collecting seven wickets between them, including a stunning four on debut from the latter. Buckingham combined with Lehmann twice, Nielsen once and went alone to rattle Jack Edwards’ stumps in registering the wickets, providing a tantalising glimpse into what the teenage quick is capable of.

South Australia then needed a captain’s knock of their own as Henry Hunt made his way to the middle, and the right-handed opener delivered exactly that. Standing firm while wickets fell with regularity at the other end, Hunt refused to be dislodged, instead methodically accumulating runs with a minimum of fuss as the Redbacks pursued the NSW total.

When the home side’s fifth wicket fell to bring Nielsen to the crease, just 98 runs were reflected on the scoreboard, leaving the Redbacks in dire need of a partnership. The wicketkeeper and the skipper answered the call, pushing the score past 200 during a 124-run stand that turned the tide of the contest back the home side’s way.

Both raised the bat along the way, Hunt celebrating a century and Nielsen a half, with both warmly applauded by spectators and teammates alike in recognition of the backs to the wall performance. The ton is Hunt’s third for the season, the most of any player of the Shield season, and sees him climb back into second place on the overall run-scorers list behind only Victoria's Peter Handscomb.

Spending day three building a lead, NSW found contributions throughout as the top seven all reached double figures, including half centuries from Nikitaras, Gilkes, Sangha and Hearne. The two Nathan’s led the way for the Redbacks in the field, with McAndrew and McSweeney pairing to send seven batters back to the sheds before the visitors declared to set South Australia a chase of 326 from two and a half sessions.

Commentators were left searching for superlatives during the most remarkable moment of the day, a run out by Brendan Doggett that saw the back of Nikitaras and turned the tide of the contest. Charging in from mid-off and lunging to his right, the big quick was on his back when he loosed a cannon that clattered into the stumps to find the NSW debutant short of his ground. 
Opening the chase with Hunt, Bailey Capel quickly found the middle of the blade to register the first boundaries of his career but unfortunately had his game ended prematurely when Copeland had him caught in the slips. Hunt and Carder took up the challenge from there, sparking hopes of a breakthrough triumph for South Australia with a rapid partnership that almost reached 50 before they fell to Edwards and Conway respectively.

Thus began the partnership that would decide the game: a sublime 151-run stand between Jake Lehmann and Nathan McSweeney that would ultimately bring celebrations to the Redbacks Shield rooms for the first time in more than two years.

Batting at over four an over for several hours, the duo displayed confidence and skill in equal measure as they grew the Redbacks optimism in tandem with the growing shadows on Karen Rolton Oval’s surface. Lehmann would lose his wicket with 94 runs to his name, but the work had been done by the thrilling left-hander, now left to celebrate in the rooms with his teammates.

Nielsen knocked gloves with McSweeney to begin the final partnership of the game, producing a glorious 34* from 37 deliveries to guide the Redbacks home. McSweeney fittingly sealed the result by dispatching the ball to the boundary, finishing undefeated on 99 with six overs to spare, delivering his highest first-class score at just the right time.