The Joburg Super Kings and MI Cape Town will face off at the Wanderers in the first match of a Saturday SA20 double-header (1:30pm).
The second match will see the Sunrisers Eastern Cape host Durban’s Super Giants clash at St George’s Park in Gqeberha (5:30pm)
The Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are the most successful teams in IPL in history with five titles each, which has fostered a great rivalry between the two franchises.
It is no different in South Africa with the honours shared in the two contests played last season. MI Cape Town were victorious by seven wickets at Newlands before JSK hit back at the Wanderers by 76 runs.
Both teams head to the Bullring in search of their first victory of the 2024 season after their opening matches were adversely affected by the weather.
JSK had their match against Sunrisers Eastern Cape at St George’s Park in Gqeberha completely washed out, while MI Cape Town went down by 11 runs on the DLS method to Durban’s Super Giants after the rain brought their match to a premature end.
Super Kings all-rounder David Wiese expects a strong comeback from MI Cape Town.
“Each team is so strong in this tournament, we know it’s going to be a tough game for us,” he said. “MI Cape Town are no exception. They have plenty of superstars in their team. A lot of guys want to prove a point, as they would have been disappointed with their campaign last season.”
The Namibian international is one of the most experienced T20 players on the global circuit having paraded his skills in India, England, UAE, Canada, Bangladesh, Pakistan and USA.
Wiese is looking forward to his SA20 debut and the unique energy the Bullring generates.
“Watching the competition last year, every single team’s support was amazing and it took me back to the good old days where we played in front of sell-out crowds,” Wiese said.
“I think that’s what you want when you come into your home base. You want other teams to feel uncomfortable when they get there. If you can have good success at home, it puts you into a good position for the rest of the competition.
“We have seen in all around the world, Chennai supporters are fanatical. Lots of noise, they get the whistles out, it is an intimidating place to play if you are not used to it. I am certainly looking forward to it and experiencing being on the right side of the whistle for a change.”
MI Cape Town captain Kieron Pollard believes his team can take plenty of positives to the Wanderers despite their defeat in Durban.
MI Cape Town showed great batting intent with opener Ryan Rickelton particularly in good form, while there were also lower order contributions from Liam Livingstone and the skipper himself.
“I can’t fault the guys from a batting perspective,” Pollard said. “A lot more positives to take from the game than the negatives. It was a good start to the tournament for us despite being on the losing end. Not the finish we wanted but it was still a very fun game to watch.”
Meanwhile, Sunrisers Eastern Cape batsman Tristan Stubbs is looking forward to a second take at St George’s Park against Durban’s Super Giants after the tournament opener was washed out and believes the “Orange Army” will come to give them the support they need to take them over the line.
“We may have the only ground where we have something similar to what they refer to in football as the 12th man,” Stubbs said.
“I remember batting in the chase against MI Cape Town last year and you can hear the crowd clearly. Once the crowd and the band get going, it is unreal.
“As an opposition bowler, if you’re running in and the crowd gets going, it is almost as if you are being put under additional pressure.”
DSG will be hoping to maintain their winning form, but they do have an injury cloud hanging over captain Keshav Maharaj who hobbled off the field on Thursday.
Maharaj is confident that the injury is not too serious.
“He just felt a little niggle. We will assess and take it from there. I should be OK,” he said.
Joburg Super Kings squad: Faf du Plessis (b), Gerald Coetzee, Moeen Ali, David Wiese, Sam Cook, Zahir Khan, Leus du Plooy, Reeza Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Nandre Burger, Donovan Ferreira, Aaron Phangiso, Sibonelo Makhanya, Kyle Simmonds, Wayne Madsen, Romario Shepherd, Dayyaan Galiem, Ronan Herrmann, Imran Tahir.
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.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape squad: Aiden Markram (c), Tom Abell, Ottniel Baartman, Temba Bavuma, Liam Dawson, Sarel Erwee, Aya Gqamane, Simon Harmer, Jordan Hermann, Marco Jansen, Patrick Kruger, Dawid Malan, Adam Rossington, Caleb Seleka, Andile Simelane, Tristan Stubbs, Beyers Swanepoel, Daniel Worrall.
Durban’s Super Giants squad: Keshav Maharaj (c), Noor Ahmad, Matthew Breetzke, Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, Tony de Zorzi, Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Mayers, Wiaan Mulder, Naveen-ul-Haq Murid, Bryce Parsons, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Dwaine Pretorius, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jon-Jon Smuts, Jason Smith, Prenelan Subrayen, Reece Topley.
Photo: Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics