Salt and Nortje get Pretoria Capitals going

In the SA20 match at Gqeberha on Thursday, Pretoria Capitals defeated Sunrisers Eastern Cape thanks in large part to Phil Salt’s unbroken 77. (January 12). Anrich Nortje’s ferocious spell put the Sunrisers’ competitive score of 193 out of reach after Salt batted through the Capitals’ innings to help the team reach that total.

Salt stabilized a shaky Capitals inning after they were rocked early in the at-bat. Will Jacks was eliminated by Marco Jansen in the opening over, and the dangerous Rilee Rossouw was eliminated by Sisanda Magala in the next over to bring the score to 14/2. Two brief weather delays then ended the Capitals’ innings, but it was the bowling team’s loss of momentum that allowed the visitors to quickly reach 57/3 in the PowerPlay. Despite the early defeat, By hitting boundaries off Magala, Ottniel Bartman, and James Fuller, Salt had advanced to 23 off 13 at that point.

Have a look at the scorecard of the match between Sunrisers Eastern Cape and Pretoria Capitals.

During the middle overs, Salt had to deal with yet another double strike from Aiden Markram, who first got rid of a faltering Senuran Muthusamy and then had Shane Dadswell out on the first pitch. However, Salt was joined by the seasoned James Neesham at 80/5 in the 10th over, and the two set about stopping the slip, with the latter dropping anchor to let Salt keep the scoreboard humming.

The Englishman needed just 29 balls to reach his half-century. On the other end, Neesham picked up speed after a sluggish start, hitting four fours and a six before being dismissed for a good 37 in the 18th over. Before Wayne Parnell hit three sixes and two fours in a nine-ball knock of 29*, the Capitals still were on track for a sub-180 total at that point.

The Sunrisers were expecting to be able to contain their opposition, but the late push forced them to chase at least 15 more. Sarel Erwee collapsed as Parnell sprinted with the momentum to score on his first pitch. The chase was then stifled by Nortje’s wicket-maiden dismissal of Jordan Cox, which further shook the team when Neesham caught Markram. The Sunrisers had only 36 on the board after 8 overs with the loss of 3 wickets.

Tristan Stubbs and Smuts turned the tide by adding 28 runs in just two overs, but Nortje again gave the hosts trouble with a 151 kph delivery that caught Stubbs off-guard. In essence, the Sunrisers’ push came to a stop. To complement Smuts’ 66, Tom Abell (40* off 24) and James Fuller (27* off 12) played strong hands lower down. However, the Sunrisers allowed themselves too much room for error in the second half of the chase, and they ultimately came up 23 points short.