Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Parnell gives thumbs up to Capitals’ opening SA20 performance

England batter Phil Salt was in form, carrying his bat through the innings.

Pretoria Capitals captain Wayne Parnell praised the batting performance of England’s Phil Salt who guided his team to an impressive score, and ultimately a win, in their opening SA20 match against the Sunrisers Eastern Cape in Gqeberha on Thursday.

The England player was in fine form, scoring 77 off 47 balls as the Capitals posted a solid 193 for six. The home team, the Sunrisers, responded with 170 for five, with the Capitals’ fast bowling unit of Parnell, Anrich Nortje and Eathan Bosch dominant in putting the home team under early pressure from which they never recovered.

In the end, the Parnell-led side won by 23 runs.

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“You could see the class of Phil Salt,” said Parnell afterwards.

“He played a bit of a different role (tonight). If you look at his career he’s normally a very aggressive player, and though he was still aggressive in the powerplay, he checked his game as the innings went on.

“He put the bad balls away and carried his bat, and that allowed the other batters to play with more freedom.”

‘Crucial to win early’

Parnell (29 not out off nine balls) struck a few big blows himself at the end of his team’s innings, which just about took the game away from the Sunrisers.

“It was a good start for us in the SA20. It’s always crucial to win early so I’m happy,” said the skipper. “Everyone chipped in with the ball so that was pleasing. In T20 cricket the only way to stop a team is to take wickets and we did that.”

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Sunrisers’ Jon-Jon Smuts said his team lost wickets “at the wrong times” to be in with a proper chance of winning the game.

“We got fairly close in the end, but we didn’t play our best cricket. We lost wickets at the wrong times, and they took the game away from us in a handful of overs.

“They (Parnell’s big hitting at the death) finished their innings well and they bowled brilliantly up front.”
The teams meet again on Saturday, this time in Centurion, at 1.30pm.

“It’s a day game, it’s a high-scoring ground and we’ll look to play our best game. We know what we’re capable of, so hopefully we can bounce back,” said Smuts.

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Gqeberha SA20

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