SA20: We just need to stay calm and do the basics right, says Rashid Khan after loss to Pretoria Capitals

After his team MI Cape Town’s 52-run loss to Pretoria Capitals in the ongoing SA20, skipper Rashid Khan said that they won’t do too much experimentation and just need to stay calm, stay relaxed and do the basics right in the upcoming matches of the tournament.

Chasing 183, MICT batters Dewald Brevis and Sam Curran (22 off 11) sizzled with the bat early in the big run chase but couldn’t convert the start into big knocks. Brevis — who completed his career’s 1000 T20 runs in this game — smashed a quick-fire 46 off 30 deliveries. The teenage batting prodigy hit a couple of no-look sixes in his knock on Monday night.

His team may not have got the result they wanted but MICT captain Rashid Khan led from the front once again and produced yet another stellar show with the ball. The Afghan spin sensation completed 500 T20 scalps in this game and returned with impeccable figures of 3 for 16.

England speedster Jofra Archer once again looked at his lethal best as he grabbed a three-for while West Indies all-rounder Odean Smith picked up a couple from his quota of four overs.

Pretoria Capitals were 88 for 1 in 7 overs and it looked like they would post in excess of 200 at the end of the first innings but MICT bowlers pulled things back brilliantly and picked up seven more wickets in the next 13 overs.

With 13 points in 7 games, MICT are fourth in team standings and they will be aiming to start afresh when the season resumes on February 2.

Reflecting upon his team’s performance so far and the strategy in the upcoming games the Afghan spinner said, “I think in the last part of the tournament, we can’t do too much experimentation. We just need to stay calm, stay relaxed and do the basics right. I think the 7-8 days break we have will be good for us.”

He also thanked the crowd at Cape Town for turning up in large numbers and supporting his team and said, “Massive thank you to the crowds, I’m very happy to play here. We are very sorry we couldn’t give you all a win today.”

The MI Cape Town team did a lap of honour unfurling 2 banners, clapping and thanking the Newlands One Family for their support.

Meanwhile, MICT head coach Simon Katich rued the dropped catches by the fielders at the start of the game but lauded the bowlers for pulling things back pretty well in the middle overs.

“They say catches win matches, and we weren’t good at it early on. But really proud of the way we fought back after the powerplay with the ball. The boys showed a lot of spirit and character to keep them at 182, given the fact that they were 80 without a loss in the powerplay,” Katich said during the post-match press conference.

The coach also had a word of praise for young Brevis, who continues to increase his stocks in the format with every passing day.

“Young (Dewald) Brevis was outstanding. I think when he’s at the crease you have this feeling that you can take the game away from the opposition. Unfortunately, we couldn’t maintain the partnership today,” he said.

The former Australia cricketer seconded captain Rashid’s opinion about the importance of a break and also threw some light on how the boys will be preparing for the second phase of the tournament.

“The boys will have three days off and then we’ll start practicing from the 27th here (Cape Town). We’ll have a couple of practice sessions here before we go to Durban. There too we’ll have a couple of such sessions before we play on the 2nd of February. It’s important for the guys to get some break,” Katich said.

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