The final set of matches in the SA20 regular season begin with a double header on Saturday and the first of the two games is a huge one in the race to qualify for the finals as the MI Cape Town host the Pretoria Capitals at Newlands.
The knockout stuff doesn’t start until next week officially but whoever loses here will be done for the season so these two get their own jeopardy clash before the real stuff comes along. Only an MI Cape Town bonus point win will guarantee them a place in the next round otherwise the winner has to wait until the result of the later game to know their fate.
MI Cape Town
MI Cape Town head into this match knowing full well that they demolished the Pretoria Capitals just two days previously. They won that match even easier than the 34 run margin of victory would suggest because the Capitals got some late runs on the board when batters were swinging freely knowing that they couldn’t win. That was just a third win of the season for the team who finished bottom of the pile last term and they need a fourth if they are to keep their campaign alive.
Generally when MI Cape Town have won this season their openers have got them off to fliers and their power hitters can come in and feed on wounded prey but when those openers fail they often find it hard to reverse the pressure and come up short. There isn’t really a glue in the middle order and sometimes that catches them out. It has to be said that one problem is that their seamers are all going for more than 8.5 an over which isn’t ideal.
Considering that the Pretoria Capitals were the dominant force in the regular part of last season, this term to date can only be considered a bit of a mess. They have just two wins from eight completed matches and only a third victory here will keep their campaign alive, and even that will be irrelevant if their rivals Joburg Super Kings win later in the day. They are going to need to dust themselves down from what was a pretty brutal bashing in the reverse meeting if they are going to turn this around.
The one thing the Capitals do have in their favour is two spinners who are capable of keeping tabs on a team if the seamers can keep control of things at the top of the innings but none of this is going to matter if their top four continues to flatter to deceive. Will Jacks and Kyle Verreynne are their top run scorers with 244 and 222 respectively but both have a century in this tournament and not much else. The other two members of the top four are averaging 13.62 and 18.25 and nothing good comes from that.
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Dewald Brevis hadn’t really shown up to much extent in this tournament but he clubbed 66 from just 32 balls to well and truly take the game away from the Pretoria Capitals in the reverse meeting between these two and his team will be hoping for a repeat from him.
The Pretoria Capitals really need to see the best of Phil Salt here. A couple of months ago he was scoring huge runs in the Caribbean for England and his team really need an innings of that magnitude in this match and fast.
We have out first knockout match of the season here and while I am going down the route of expecting boundaries here considering there were 67 of them when these two teams met at SuperSport Park, which is admittedly a better batting track and the ball flies further in the Highveld, I’m not completely sure that I want to trust a Pretoria Capitals unit to completely fire for us given that they have been hit and miss all season.
36 of those boundaries were belted by the MI Cape Town side and I notice that their boundary target in this match is 19.5 and I like that for a few reasons. With the exception of the game against Durban’s Super Giants here the matches at Cape Town have been high scoring and this Cape Town side have some fearsome hitters of a cricket ball at their disposal. The other reason why I like the over apart from the fact they just battered this Pretoria attack into submission is that only a bonus point win ensures MICT a spot in the knockout stages so there is no reason for them not to be chasing boundaries to get that, even in a small run chase should one develop. I fancy the home side to reach 20 boundaries here.
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