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Wayne Parnell’s Pretoria Capitals got off the mark in the ongoing SA20 2023 with a comprehensive victory against a hapless Sunrisers Eastern Cape at St George’s Park. Phil Salt starred for the Capitals with a combative half-century in the first innings before the bowlers did the rest, defending a challenging total of 193 runs set by their batters.
Chasing a stiff total to get off the mark in the competition, The Sunrisers Eastern Cape made a wobbly start losing Sarel Erwee and Jordan Cox inside the powerplay. But it was the wicket of influential skipper Aiden Markram in the eight over which derailed their chase.
The young batting sensation Tristan Stubbs threatened to mount a counterattack for the Sunrisers with a brisk little cameo, which was brought to an abrupt halt by the menacing Anrich Nortje. Despite losing a cluster of wickets, veteran Protean opener JJ Smuts kept fighting for his side.
He found an able partner in Somerset’s Tom Abell, who took the attack to the Pretoria Capitals. But it was a little too late for the Sunrisers as they had left a mountain to climb in the latter stages after a woeful powerplay. The Capitals ran out comfortable winners in the end, claiming the victory by 23 runs.
Salt and Neesham resurrected the Capitals’ innings before Parnell applied the finishing gloss
The Sunrisers Eastern Cape, led by Aiden Markram, decided to bowl first in their campaign opener against the Pretoria Capitals on a batting-friendly surface at St George’s Park. His decision proved to be a masterstroke as his bowlers rewarded him with the wickets of Will Jacks and Rilee Rossouw in the opening two overs of the match.
Pretoria Capitals seemed to have recovered from those early blows with a promising partnership between Phil Salt and Theunis de Bruyn. However, the latter was dismissed by an absolute peach by Ottniel Baartman in the very first over after a rain delay. Markram’s bowlers kept chipping at the wickets, with the Capitals reeling at 80/5 in the tenth over.
Salt was running out of ideas and partners from one end before the veteran Kiwi all-rounder Jimmy Neesham made his way to the crease. The duo added an explosive 77-run stand for the sixth wicket, rendering the opposition bowlers toothless. Sunrisers breathe a huge sigh of relief after getting rid of the dangerous Kiwi, but they were in for another punishing innings, this time from the Capitals skipper Wayne Parnell, who played a swashbuckling cameo to propel his side to a daunting 193 runs on the board.
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