South Australia will have a second chance to progress to the Ryobi Cup final and defend their limited overs crown when they face off with New South Wales at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
The Redbacks had a chance to guarantee their spot in the competition decider and potentially secure a home final when they met the Blues at the SCG on Thursday.
But the reigning one-day champions were rolled by 56 runs courtesy of an inspired New South Wales outfit spearheaded by young guns Nic Maddinson, Adam Zampa and Gurinder Sandhu.
Maddinson followed a century in the Blues' Sheffield Shield draw with Tasmania last week with a blistering 85 that included seven sixes.
The talented left-hander established a stubborn partnership with Tim Cruickshank (61) to push the Blues' total to 8-264 before teenage paceman Sandhu (3-50) and 20-year-old leg spinner Zampa (3-55) claimed three wickets each to halt the Redbacks at 8-208 in reply.
Sandhu's impressive figures followed a five-wicket haul only three days earlier in the Blues' 37-run Ryobi Cup victory over Tasmania.
Callum Ferguson - also boosted by a recent ton - did his best to hunt down New South Wales' target while battling a groin complaint but fell short on 78 while barnstorming quick Kane Richardson snared a stunning 6-51 with the ball for the Redbacks.
Although the Blues will be able to call on the services of Maddinson and Sandhu for the trip to Adelaide as they look to make it three limited overs wins on the trot, the Redbacks will be without Thursday's stars Ferguson and Richardson.
The duo are with the Australia A squad in Hobart to face the England Lions in a five-match day-night series which begins on Saturday.
Batsman Tom Cooper and medium-pacer and NSW native Joe Mennie will replace the pair in the line-up.
Left-handed rookie batsman Alex Carey is also a chance to make his Ryobi Cup debut for the Redbacks following a streak of good form in grade cricket and the Futures League.
To make qualification for back-to-back finals even more difficult for a depleted Redbacks, the Blues welcome back Australian representatives Brad Haddin and Doug Bollinger.
A Queensland victory over Victoria on Saturday could also complicate matters for the Redbacks if they fail to win on Sunday.
Given the do-or-die nature of Sunday's contest, Redbacks coach Darren Berry said the message to his troops was a simple one.
"It's a pretty simple equation on Sunday - we win and we're in the final against Victoria," Berry said.
"There are obviously a few scenarios that can play out with other teams but purely and simply, we win and forget about the rest."
South Australia: Johan Botha (c), Cullen Bailey, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Tom Cooper, Jake Haberfield, Travis Head, Michael Klinger, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Alex Ross, Chadd Sayers (12th man to be named).
New South Wales: Peter Nevill (c), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Trent Copeland, Tim Cruickshank, David Dawson, Luke Doran, Brad Haddin, Scott Henry, Nic Maddinson, Gurinder Sandhu, Adam Zampa.