Durban’s Super Giants booked their place in the first qualifier playoff at Newlands on 6 February after extending their winning streak in their final home match of the season on Tuesday.
The Super Giants moved up to 32 points after claiming a third consecutive victory with an eight-run win over the Pretoria Capitals, who remain at the bottom of the table with nine points.
Matthew Breetzke was once again the cornerstone of DSG’s batting performance, with a sparkling 73 off 46 balls (10 fours, three sixes), which earned the stylish right-hander a second consecutive Man of the Match award.
Fast bowler Junior Dala then delivered an inspired performance in the field with a stunning catch on the boundary before following it up with 5-26 to help restrict the Capitals to 166-9 in response to DSG’s 174-9.
Breetzke and Quinton de Kock were in the mood early on to offset the early loss of Tony de Zorzi, as the Super Giants powered to 71-1 within the powerplay.
Breetzke has been in fine form throughout the competition with his stylish cover drive becoming a trademark.
He was the chief aggressor in the 51-run partnership with De Kock for the second wicket, before Adil Rashid had the latter caught at long-off for 16.
Breetzke maintained the momentum to bring up his second consecutive fifty off just 30 balls.
But it was at this stage that Senuran Muthusamy began utilising his vast knowledge of the local conditions to spin the home team into a web.
Muthusamy (3-25) initially removed Breetzke followed by Keemo Paul (nought) before silencing the Kingsmead crowd when he had the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen (30 off 18 balls) caught at cover just when he was finding his rhythm.
Daryn Dupavillion also finished strongly for the Capitals with 3-25 as DSG lost eight wickets for 98 runs.
The Capitals’ run chase failed to take off, after opener Phil Salt was dismissed with the second ball.
Will Jacks played a lone hand of 41 as the Capitals faltered against Dala’s impressive pace.
Rilee Rossouw’s laboured 10 off 27 balls was an clear indication of the Capitals’ struggles.
“In the back end it got close but we controlled it well in the middle – Noor [Ahmad], Naveen [ul-Haq] and Junior Dala gave us that cushion at the back end,” said DSG captain Keshav Maharaj. “It’s a pleasing sign that everyone is standing up when needed. Hopefully we can go all the way into the competition,”
Capitals captain Wayne Parnell has not given up hope of his team qualifying for the playoffs with only two matches against fellow strugglers MI Cape Town remaining.
“I still feel after the start they had, probably 230-240 was on. To restrict them to 170 was great. We needed one big partnership in our chase,” he said.
“We have lost crucial moments in various games. There is still a lot to play for, we have two more games to go and we will see where we are after that.”