Match in a Glimpse:
We faced Paarl Royals once again, after defeating them yesterday at Centurion in our last league game. However, this time the stakes were much higher as we battled with them for a spot in the SA20 final. In a rain-delayed match, Rilee Rossouw was our stand-out player as we came one step closer to the coveted trophy.
A Slow Start After a Rain Delay:
Our roars made it all the way from Pretoria to Jo’burg for the first-ever SA20 semi-final. Coming off a win against Paarl Royals, we headed to Wanderers to face off against David Miller and Co. for a spot in the final. And of course, wherever we go, our loyal Pitori fam follows!
After a rain delay, the Royals won the toss and elected to bowl first. Kusal Mendis and Phil Salt got off to a slow start. Unfortunately, the Sri Lankan fell to Bjorn Fortuin in the fourth over.
Stand-in skipper Theunis de Bruyn tried to make the best of the conditions but Tabraiz Shamsi got the better of him. The spinner got his second of the night by dismissing Salt before he could bring in the fireworks. However, our prolific Englishman unlocked the personal milestone of completing 4000 runs in T20 cricket.
He Came. He Ro-ssouw. He Conquered:
Showing that class is permanent, Rilee Rossouw took the Wanderers by storm with his hard-hitting batting performance. The left-hander smashed some incredible boundaries including a massive six that went all the way to hit the roof!
Therefore, even though we lost Jimmy Neesham and Colin Ingram in quick succession, Rossouw ensured that we made the best of the conditions and raced towards his first fifty in SA20. Eathan Bosch’s brief but impactful cameo of 22 runs in 10 balls further aided our case. Their 42-run partnership powered us to 153/8 on a difficult wicket.
Bringing in the Early Wickets:
We could not have asked for a better start to our defence as Eathan Bosch dismissed Jason Roy in the first over. He further turned things in our favour by cleaning up the very dangerous Jos Buttler.
Our Hoover picked up two quick wickets to send back Paul Stirling and Dane Vilas, thus restricting Paarl Royals to 72/4 in 10 overs.
Remember the time when Rilee said that if given a chance, he could prove his mettle in the bowling department? We’ll remind you, nevertheless!
Our main man with the bat in this match demonstrated his prowess with the ball by dismissing Eoin Morgan.
SA20 Finals, Here We Come!
Skipper David Miller kept the Royals in the game while wickets tumbled at the other end courtesy of Jimmy Neesham and Migael Pretorius. Anrich Nortje’s double-wicket maiden over sealed a comprehensive win over the Royals, wrapping them up for 124 within 19 overs.
And with this, Pretoria Capitals became the first team to reach the final of the inaugural SA20 league!
Pretoria Capitals - 153/8 (20): Rilee Rossouw - 56(41), Eathan Bosch - 22(10), Andile Phehlukwayo - 3/29, Tabraiz Shamsi - 2/19 defeated Paarl Royals - 124 (19): David Miller - 31 (27)Paul Stirling - 21 (14), Adil Rashid - 2/15, Eathan Bosch - 2/22
Player of the Match: Rilee Rossouw
A Special Thank You:
Before the start of the SA20 League, we had made a promise to the people of Pretoria; a promise to Roar Saam More. After today’s win, we came closer to fulfilling that promise. We stand on the verge of becoming a part of South Africa’s cricketing history.
None of this would have been possible without the endless support of our fans. Lose, win or tie, we always had them cheering us on, supporting us, and rooting for us.
You have been an integral part of our journey till now. It’s time, we #RoarSaamMore for glory.