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Ken Borland


It all came down to 2 record stands at SuperSport Park as Paarl pip the Capitals

Posted on January 14, 2024 by Ken

Mitchell van Buuren (left) and David Miller of Paarl Royals celebrate another milestone.
Photo by Sportzpics

In the final analysis it all came down to two record partnerships in the SA20 match between the Pretoria Capitals and the Paarl Royals at SuperSport Park on Sunday night: the one unbeaten and the other crucially ended with the loss of both set batsmen in the space of three deliveries.

After the seasoned David Miller (75 not out off 42 balls) and the highly-talented Mitchell van Buuren (72 not out off 40 balls) had added an unbeaten 141 for the fourth wicket to steer Paarl Royals to a strong 210 for three after they had been sent in to bat, Will Jacks (58 off 34) and Rilee Rossouw (82 off 45) put on 147 for the third wicket for Pretoria to put them well on target in the run-chase.

But Rossouw then top-edged a slog-sweep at Lungi Ngidi and Jason Roy took one of those brilliant boundary catches when the fielder tosses the ball back infield, steps over the boundary and then comes back to complete the catch. The left-handed Rossouw had moved beautifully through the gears, collecting 10 fours and four sixes with great skill and timing, as he came to the crease after the Capitals had made a terrible start, losing two wickets in the opening over.

The first ball of the next over saw Jacks bowled by left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin, the delivery being too full to be played off the back foot. Englishman Jacks had struck six fours and three sixes and had done a great job up front in ensuring Pretoria did not stagnate after Ngidi had removed Phil Salt (0) and Theunis de Bruyn (4) in the opening over.

With the two set batsmen out, the Capitals needed 58 off 35 balls to win and coach Graham Ford admitted afterwards that he was still hopeful they would have enough batting left to see them home.

Captain Jimmy Neesham scored a promising 20 off 9 balls but once Fabian Allen held on to a steepling catch running in from cow-corner to dismiss him off Andile Phehlukwayo, the other batsmen were all at sea on a pitch which did see the odd delivery ‘stick’ in the surface.

In the end, Paarl Royals won by 10 runs, Obed McCoy showing great guts and composure as he conceded just three runs in the final over, despite suffering from severe cramps that saw him hobbling about after every delivery.

In conditions that were still good for batting, coach Ford also admitted that the home side would have settled for a target of just below 200. But Miller and Van Buuren put them to the sword at the death, plundering 51 runs off the last three overs.

“The odd one did stick a bit, but if you’re going to mix up your pace then you still have to get your length right,” Ford said. “I think everybody in the changeroom would say that we could have limited them to 15 or so runs less.

“It was a fairly high-scoring game, another great T20 pitch here, but we probably could have controlled things a bit better at the end, when you trust the bowlers to back their best disciplines.

“Then again, if Rilee had batted for another three overs then we probably would have won. I can’t say enough of how well he and Will played and we saw how tough it was for the lower-order. But I was hopeful that we would have had some extra batting to see us over the line,” Ford said.

Miller and Van Buuren came together after Paarl Royals had lost two wickets in three overs to slip to 69 for three, and they were quick to settle at the crease, needing just 31 balls to raise their 50 partnership. Their next fifty runs together came in 30 deliveries, and in the end their partnership of 141 came off just 72 balls, with 13 fours and six sixes.

Jacks and Rossouw sent 16 balls to the boundary and seven over it as their stand of 147 came off 82 deliveries.

Both partnerships were the best ever for their respective wickets in SA20 history. The previous third-wicket record was held by Jacks and De Bruyn, who put on 111 against the Sunrisers Eastern Cape at Centurion last season; the previous fourth-wicket record was 75 shared by Matthew Breetzke and Heinrich Klaasen of Durban Super Giants, and Aiden Markram and Tristan Stubbs of the Sunrisers.

It was not a particularly good day to be a bowler, but leg-spinner Adil Rashid was the pick of the Capitals attack with one for 31 in his four overs, while new-ball bowlers Ngidi (4-0-39-4) and McCoy (4-0-30-1) led the way for Paarl Royals, who now go to second place on the log after their back-to-back wins over last season’s losing finalists.

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