A spot in the SA20 final is up for grabs as the Joburg Super Kings take on Durban’s Super Giants in the second qualifier playoff at the Wanderers on Thursday.
After claiming the final playoff spot in their last match, the Super Kings have built up some momentum by beating the Paarl Royals in the eliminator playoff on Wednesday evening.
It meant that they stayed in Johannesburg, while the Super Giants had to travel north from Cape Town after losing the first qualifier playoff to the Sunrisers Eastern Cape on Tuesday night.
Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming is certainly hoping this will work in his team’s favour.
“We don’t have time to overthink it. That might be the big advantage. We’re straight in. The big advantage is we don’t have to travel and we are playing in conditions that I wouldn’t say we know, but we are starting to understand,” Fleming said.
“There is a level of comfort when you don’t have to get on a plane. We do see that as an advantage. And hopefully we are good enough to use it to our advantage.”
DSG, meanwhile, are hoping they can raise their energy levels to ensure a trip back to Cape Town for the final at Newlands on Saturday.
“We have tired bodies,” Super Giants fast bowler Junior Dala said.
“But we know that travel is part of these tournaments, and we knew that this is something that could happen. It’s just about getting to Joburg mentally fresh.
“We have to back our skills and try to get over the disappointment. Come Thursday, hopefully we are firing.”
The Super Kings have suffered a blow with leading fast bowler Lizaad Williams ruled out of the remainder of the competition with a side strain.
Williams’ replacement Sam Cook was excellent against the Royals in his absence, though, claiming 4-24 on debut.
Cook delivered a Player of the Match performance in Wednesday’s eliminator playoff, taking 4-24 on his SA20 debut.
“Liz has been the highest wicket-taker and to lose him was a blow. But he [Cook] has been excellent off the field. He’s done everything right. It has just been the balance of the team that hasn’t allowed us to use him at any stage,” Fleming said.
“When you’re close to the end, it can come down to an individual performance. Whether it’s just a moment of brilliance, there are a number of reasons. We are looking at individuals who can win it.”
Durban’s Super Giants squad: Keshav Maharaj (c), Ashton Agar, Matthew Breetzke, Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, Tony de Zorzi, Heinrich Klaasen, Wiaan Mulder, Naveen-ul-Haq Murid, Bryce Parsons, Keemo Paul, Dwaine Pretorius, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jon-Jon Smuts, Jason Smith, Prenelan Subrayen, Reece Topley.
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: Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics