MI Cape Town and the Joburg Super Kings have it all to do to if they are to qualify for the SA20 playoffs.
The fourth- and sixth-placed teams on the log clash at Newlands on Monday with the aim of turning their seasons around.
“We will have to do a little bit of soul searching and find something within,” said MI Cape Town coach Robin Peterson after their four-run defeat to the Sunrisers Eastern Cape on Saturday.
“This is a franchise with a lot of expectations on us [coaches] and the players. We’ve got the talent, but it’s about summoning up the will to go forward in this tournament.”
While there have been various reasons for MICT’s five defeats in seven matches, Peterson quickly identified what was missing at St George’s Park.
“This is a tight competition with games of small margins. Ultimately you can see where the Sunrisers game was won and lost by looking at the data and the stats. They out-ran us … they had 20 twos, we had something like four – so that’s a big difference when you lose by four runs, which is quite hard to take.”
Asked if there were any positives, Peterson identified two.
“We’re still in a position to qualify, and that’s a positive – but we have to start entering the race now. Also, Dewald Brevis getting runs, hitting a few boundaries … he hasn’t had a great tournament but for him seeing the ball sail will give him a lot of belief moving forward.
“Looking at them at training I can’t question their commitment,” Peterson said of his players. “You know human beings need to be inspired and I think they’re pretty motivated as a group. It’s only once you start losing close games that the soul-searching starts, but we have to stick together as a group, I think that’s the most important part – win or lose, you have to stick together.
“These franchise tournaments come around thick and fast and players play in them all around the world so at the end of the day the important thing for me is that we stick together now and show a bit of resilience in this competition.
“We’re disappointed where we sit in the tournament but it’s still in our own hands,” he added. “Last year, the Sunrisers qualified for the playoffs with four wins and managed to win the competition so with a bit of luck, the right inspiration and trying to get the little things right, we can do it.”
Meanwhile, the Joburg Super Kings were denied the opportunity to overtake MICT on the log by the torrential downpour in Centurion that saw their Highveld derby against the Pretoria Capitals abandoned.
JSK have also lost the services of West Indies all-rounder Romario Shepherd and Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan, who have been called up for international duty. New Zealand fast bowler Doug Bracewell has taken Shepherd’s place in the squad and will be in line for an SA20 debut at Newlands.
Monday’s match will start at 5:30pm.
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.
Joburg Super Kings squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Moeen Ali, Doug Bracewell, Nandre Burger, Gerald Coetzee, Sam Cook, Leus du Plooy, Donovan Ferreira, Dayyaan Galiem, Reeza Hendricks, Ronan Herrmann, Wayne Madsen, Sibonelo Makhanya, Aaron Phangiso, Kyle Simmonds, Imran Tahir, David Wiese, Lizaad Williams.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Sportzpics