Highveld Derby at a Glance:
Two days of scripting SA20 history lay in front of us when we clashed twice in two days against our neighbors, Joburg Super Kings. Guided by an impressive performance by Leus du Plooy and Aaron Phangiso, the Super Kings won at the Wanderers by 6 runs. Jimmy Neesham, Anrich Nortje and Phil Salt starred for us in the reverse fixture at Centurion to seal victory in the second leg by 6 wickets.
First Leg: Johannesburg
A Strong Jo’Burg Show:
We traveled to Johannesburg for the first leg of the much anticipated Highveld Derby. Captain Parnell won the toss and chose to field first.
Faf du Plessis and Reeza Hendricks gave the hosts a promising start in the powerplay. Anrich Nortje got the breakthrough for us just as the Jo’Burg skipper was looking dangerous.
Leus du Plooy continued to keep the scoreboard ticking for the Super Kings. Despite a slow start, Hendricks switched gears to establish a strong partnership with du Plooy. However, Nortje worked his magic once again to dismiss Hendricks.
Not long after, skipper Parnell accounted for the in-form Donovan Ferreira before any severe damage could be made. Eathan Bosch’s triple strike in the final over got rid of Romario Shepherd, Sibonelo Makhanya, and Gerald Coetzee before adding much to the total. Will Jacks took a blinder of a catch that sent Coetzee back.
Without du Plooy receiving much of the strike in the final over, we restricted the Jo’burg Super Kings to 168/6 after their 20 overs.
Jo’Burg Take Round 1:
Our openers Will Jacks and Phil Salt gave us an accelerated start once again. Unfortunately, Alzarri Joseph dismissed Will Jacks and Rilee Rossouw with successive deliveries. Phil Salt continued his exploits before Aaron Phangiso got the crucial wicket for Jo’burg. Phangiso got his second of the night by dismissing Theunis de Bruyn who played a short, yet impactful knock.
Shane Dadswell tried to build our innings, however, Phangiso cleaned him up to claim his third of the match.
Jimmy Neesham smashed Aaron Phangiso for three consecutive sixes before the Kiwi missed the next delivery to lose his wicket. Eathan Bosch tried to build on a partnership with our skipper, but he too lost his wicket to Gerald Coetzee.
A mix-up in the middle between Parnell and Migael Pretorius led to the latter getting run out. Adil Rashid and Parnell tried to take us towards the finish line, however, Rashid mistimed his shot to lose his wicket.
Despite our best efforts, the Super Kings defeated us by 6 runs to win the first leg of the Highveld Derby.
Second Leg: Pretoria
Our Impeccable Bowling Display:
We headed to Centurion for the reverse fixture. Captain Parnell won the toss once again and chose to bowl. We could not have asked for a better start with Eathan Bosch taking out Reeza Hendricks with his first delivery. This was followed by Migael Pretorius dismissing last time’s gamechanger, Leus du Plooy.
Pretoria-born Faf du Plessis smashed a 22-ball 51, before Jimmy Neesham got the Jo’burg skipper out. The Kiwi added two more to his kitty by taking out Lewis Gregory and Romario Shepard.
Anrich Nortje joined the party by dismissing Kyle Verreynne and Gerald Coetzee, giving us an upper hand at home. Before Donovan Ferreira could prove dangerous, Adil Rashid cleaned him up with a peach of a delivery.
Jimmy Neesham took an absolute stunner off Nortje’s delivery to send Alzarri Joseph back. While Aaron Phangiso and Nandre Burger added some runs at the tail for the visitors, Rashid wrapped things up for us, with a target of 123 to chase.
Another Phil Salt Special to Even the Highveld Derby:
Will Jacks and Phil Salt opened once again with their proven prowess taking the Centurion by storm. However, Jacks mistimed a full delivery straight to deep point wherein du Plooy made no mistake to take the catch off Burger’s delivery. Theunis de Bruyn had an unfortunate dismissal when Salt’s shot was deflected by Alzarri Joseph to hit the wickets at the non-striker's' end.
Rilee Rossouw had a promising start before he was bowled out by a full length delivery by Gerald Coetzee. Meanwhile, Salt continued his exploits to march towards another blistering half-century off 22 balls.
Shane Dadswell added 18 more to our run-chase before he fell off a Lewis Gregory delivery. Phil Salt and Jimmy Neesham took us over the line as we sealed a comfortable 6 wicket victory to draw level in the Highveld Derby and earn a bonus point.
The Road Ahead:
With our second win at home, we moved to the top of the table with 13 points from our three wins in four matches. Up next, we go on the road again to face Durban Super Giants, Paarl Royals and MI Cape Town before heading into the break.
Pretoria Capitals - 123/4 (20): Phil Salt - 52 (30), Will Jacks - 34 (16), Lewis Gregory - 1/12, Nandre Burger - 1/24 defeated Jo’Burg Super Kings - 122 (20): Faf du Plessis - 51 (22), Aaron Phansigo - 19 (10), Jimmy Neesham - 3/7, Anrich Nortje - 3/12.
Player of the Match: Jimmy Neesham