With only one SA20 playoff spot remaining, the permutations for the Pretoria Capitals and MI Cape Town have become clearer for their back-to-back “mini-series” starting on Thursday in Centurion – beat the other team twice and (particularly for MICT) claim at least one bonus point.
The Joburg Super Kings’ loss on Wednesday sees them remain in fourth place, stuck on 13 points with only one match left – so their maximum possible haul now is 18 points (and that’s if they can get a bonus point win against top-of-the-table Durban’s Super Giants).
The Capitals, currently on 10 points, could thus secure a playoffs spot with ‘just’ two outright wins, but MICT, currently on nine points, would need that extra point to get to 18 and bring it down to a net run rate and number of wins come into play.
Following their fifth loss of 2024 (they only lost four times overall in 2023) on Tuesday at Durban’s Super Giants, Capitals captain Wayne Parnell did not want to spend too long analysing why the two seasons has been so different for the men in sky blue.
“It’s a combination of things, but we’ve lost the crucial moments in various games which probably makes us end up losing. Still, there have been good things throughout every single game but it’s those crucial moments which are the difference between winning and losing.”
“There’s still a lot to play for in our two group games and we’ll have to see where we end up after that …”
However, MI Cape Town coach Robin Peterson couldn’t hide the hurt of the rain-affected loss against the Joburg Super Kings at Newlands on Monday in a match that was reduced to eight overs a side.
“We obviously want the fans to get what they want, but when we play a game of cricket, you want a fair contest. That’s what we all want. Was it one tonight? I’m not sure,” he said.
“Obviously, our boys tried hard. It was a wet ball for four out of their eight overs at the back end in the rain. It is a hard one to take. You feel hard done by. But you don’t get everything in life.
“We can still qualify [for the playoffs], so we’re still positive, we’ve got two games that we have to win. Yes, we need two results but that’s the nature of this competition – anybody can beat anybody. Everybody is still alive in this tournament, which is what makes it so great.”
Peterson spoke glowingly about skipper Kieron Pollard – who was also his captain in MI New York’s victorious Major League Cricket campaign last year.
“We’re talking about one of the greatest of all time in our dressing room who’s spent a lot of time in Cape Town and gives it his all … an example being stepping up [on Monday], not in his batting position.
“That’s what he’s brought to our team; a lot of leadership, a lot of calm, a lot cricket savvy but most of all he plays with his heart – that’s all we can ask for from the guys who play for this team.
“You can’t fault his commitment to this team, he’s tried absolutely everything and he will continue to try everything until the last ball is bowled for this team.
“We’re just privileged and happy that he’s part of our dressing room and the boys – especially the local guys – are learning so much from him, not only from a cricket perspective but how to be a professional, and if you want to succeed Pollard is the perfect guy to talk to.”
Pretoria Capitals squad: Wayne Parnell (c), Colin Ackermann, Matthew Boast, Corbin Bosch, Eathan Bosch, Shane Dadswell, Theunis de Bruyn, Daryn Dupavillon, Colin Ingram, Will Jacks, Senuran Muthusamy, Migael Pretorius, Adil Rashid, Rilee Rossouw, Phil Salt, Jacques Snyman, Tiaan van Vuuren, Kyle Verreynne, Hardus Viljoen.
MI Cape Town squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Tom Banton, Chris Benjamin, Dewald Brevis, Sam Curran, Connor Esterhuizen, Beuran Hendricks, Duan Jansen, Thomas Kaber, George Linde, Liam Livingstone, Delano Potgieter, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Grant Roelofsen, Olly Stone, Nuwan Thushara, Rassie van der Dussen, Nealan van Heerden.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Sportzpics