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Ken Borland



Verreynne clobbers new record score, but says it’s nothing new for him 0

Posted on February 02, 2024 by Ken

POWER APLENTY: Kyle Verreynne hits one of his nine sixes for Pretoria Capitals.
Photo: Arjun Singh

Kyle Verreynne made the highest ever SA20 score in the most unlikely of circumstances at SuperSport Park on Thursday night: His magnificent 116 not out off 52 balls was in a losing cause and it came after the Pretoria Capitals had crashed to 42 for six. The wicketkeeper has also not always been rated the most effective T20 player, but he clobbered seven fours and nine sixes and bristled afterwards at suggestions that this was something new in his game for the shortest format.

Verreynne’s astonishing innings miraculously prevented MI Cape Town from pulling off a bonus point win that seemed inevitable after they took six wickets in the powerplay while defending a mammoth total of 248 for four.

And it is a crucial bonus point because it keeps Pretoria Capitals alive in the competition, despite their woeful display in Centurion in their penultimate game. They play MI Cape Town again at Newlands on Saturday and, trailing them by just three points on the log, they know victory will put them in the qualifiers as long as high-flying Durban Super Giants beat Joburg Super Kings on the same day.

Verreynne had a T20 career strike-rate of 127.53 before this match, with three fifties in 48 innings, and the Pretoria Capitals only included him in their XI from their fourth game this season. But however he does it, he gets the runs on the board and is one of those cricketers blessed with tremendous temperament; he seems to lift his game to a new level when the pressure is on.

“It’s pretty sick that I’ve got the highest score and to score my maiden hundred is really special. I feel like my red-ball game is sorted, but T20 has been a bit of a monkey on my back,” Verreynne said after the Pretoria Capitals lost by 34 runs.

“But scoring 72 not out in my first game of the season against JSK and now a century has given me lots of confidence. But all the coaches I have ever had have never questioned my technique or boundary-hitting ability. Those who question it don’t know cricket.

“I went to Wynberg Boys High and that school instils in you that you must keep fighting even when the chips are down. Nothing comes easy at that school. Pressure is a mother going to work at 5am and coming home at 9pm to provide for her kids, playing cricket is not really pressure and that’s why I stay calm,” Verreynne said.

If you had offered Verreynne and the Pretoria Capitals an eventual total of 214 for eight, especially after he had watched Nuwan Thushara bowl Rilee Rossouw, Colin Ackermann and Shane Dadswell for ducks in the space of nine deliveries, it would have been one of those deals that was too good to refuse.

Even though Wayne Parnell (23) helped him add 78 off 49 deliveries for the seventh wicket, an SA20 record, the home side were still languishing on 129 for eight after 15 overs, needing 70 more runs off 30 balls just to prevent conceding the bonus point.

With Adil Rashid providing great support with 21 not out off 14 deliveries, Verreynne got them there with four balls to spare! Fifteen runs were taken off debutant Nealan van Heerden’s last over, Verreynne then hit the previously-terrifying Thushara for 23 in the 18th over, Rabada went for 18 in the penultimate over and Verreynne finished in style with 22 off the final over bowled by Sam Curran.

“Obviously we wanted to win, but we realised pretty quickly that realistically we weren’t going to do that, but giving them a bonus point would mean we were basically out of the competition,” Verreynne said.

“So we just kept 199 in mind and getting more than 200 will give us a lot of confidence as a batting unit. And it’s crazy to think that we lost but we still go to Cape Town with a genuine chance of making the playoffs.

“So it felt like a win afterwards, we knew getting 200 keeps us in the competition even if it was a really daunting target. So the mood in the changeroom was that it was a small victory we will take and the positivity is definitely there. We are still in with a chance of winning the competition, so we can’t be too down,” Verreynne said with typical tenacity.

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