The Pretoria Capitals became the first team to secure their place in the SA20 semifinals with a thrilling one-wicket victory over MI Cape Town, here.
The Capitals required a hobbling captain Wayne Parnell and last-man Josh Little to scamper through off Sam Curran’s final delivery to take the hosts past MI Cape Town’s 159 all out.
Parnell had earlier left the field after 2.1 overs with a groin injury, but the skipper courageously came out at No 10 to take his team over the line.
MI Cape Town bowling unit had tried to keep their team in contention throughout with Parnell’s counterpart Rashid Khan delivering a fine spell of spin bowling. Rashid conceded just 17 runs in his four overs and picked up the wicket of Theunis de Bruyn.
England international Curran also delivered a wholehearted performance to finish with 3/26 and kept MI Cape Town in the contest until the very last ball.
Pretoria Capital’s run-chase began sublime fashion with Kusal Mendis (39 off 25 balls) enjoying the conditions, but furthermore only Player of the Match Rilee Rossouw (40 off 19 balls) and Senuran Muthusamy (25 off 23 balls) made worthwhile contributions.
Rassie van der Dussen had earlier laid the platform for MI Cape Town with 51 off 29 balls, but the Proteas batter did not get the support from any of his teammates. This was due to Pretoria Capitals captain Parnell’s impressive opening two overs, while Anrich Nortje steamed in from the Pavilion End with one his deliveries being timed at 150km/h. His battle with MI Cape Town teenager star Dewald Brevis was one of the highlights of the match. Nortje emerged victorious in that contest with Brevis feathering a catch behind.
He cranked up the speed gun even with a 152km/h delivery that rearranged Tim David’s stumps as Nortje finished with 2/37. Eathan Bosh finished with identical figures, while James Neesham also claimed 2/26.
MI Cape Town are now rooted to the basement of the table with 13 points and require a mathematical miracle to qualify for the semifinals with just one match remaining against Joburg Super Kings at the Wanderers on Monday.