We have another double header of action at the SA20 on Saturday and it begins in Gqeberha as the champions Sunrisers Eastern Cape continue the defence of their title when they play host to the MI Cape Town side.
These two go into the match sitting in third and fourth in the table and the winners will be looking good for a spot in the finals but the losers will have a bit of work to do if they are going to book their spot in the business part of the campaign.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape
The Sunrisers Eastern Cape are having an up and down season at the minute but they only really came good in the latter stages of the previous campaign so we certainly shouldn’t give up on them just yet, not least because they sit in third place in the table, but they will have been disappointed to go down to the Pretoria Capitals last time out, particularly as they worked so hard to give themselves a chance in the contest only to fall short on the final ball.
The Sunrisers have won three of their five matches, with their other defeat coming against the Durban’s Super Giants who are setting the pace at the top of the table, so they certainly aren’t having a bad campaign but there hasn’t been the fireworks we got from their big players last season as much this time around. In saying that, they have two of the top seven wicket takers in the competition and two of the top 11 batters.
MI Cape Town
MI Cape Town had a disappointing campaign last time around and while it hasn’t been quite that bad this term, they aren’t exactly flourishing like a squad with the talent they have at their disposal should do. I wouldn’t say they should be dominating the competition because the talent is stacked in a six team competition, but they should be making the final four with a fair bit in hand. They might still do that but you sense they could miss out once again should they lose here.
What makes it all the more baffling is that they have by far the leading run scorer in the competition in Ryan Rickelton and when you think the majority of their core bowling unit are international cricketers, and good ones at that, you wonder why they are not getting over the line more. MI have won just two of their six matches and that just isn’t a good enough return. Their last two defeats were heavy ones too with scores of 103 and 121/9 never going to be enough to win games. That has killed their net run rate so defeat here could have a catastrophic impact on their qualifying chances.
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Given the reliance that the MI Cape Town side have on their opening batters, if Daniel Worrall can get the new ball to swing and get rid of one of both of them then he will have the Sunrisers Eastern Cape firmly on their way in this contest.
On the flip side of that Cape Town need their openers to come back to form and with Ryan Rickelton the one who takes fewer risks initially it would be helpful if he can come back to the level he had in the first part of the competition.
I’m a little surprised that we can get even money on the Sunrisers Eastern Cape to win this match. I say that because they have been so reliant on their opening batters this season. Ryan Rickelton has 355 runs while Rassie van der Dussen has 226 but Sam Curran is the only other player with more than 81 runs and he tends to bat down the order. We’ve seen in the last two matches when the openers have failed, and they have scored just 37 runs in four combined innings in that time, there isn’t a huge amount to come.
Sunrisers are a much more balanced side and have a couple of openers who have delivered for them this season while a couple of players towards the innings have gone well too. They have picked up early wickets which has allowed their spinners to really stifle things and if that combination works again I would really like the Eastern Cape here. Sunrisers won in Cape Town when the MI openers put on 108 inside 10 overs so they can still win when those two get away from them but if they can keep one or both under more control and get rid of them early the door will be open to a home win here.
Back Sunrisers Eastern Cape to beat MI Cape Town for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Coral