Pretoria Capitals keep SA20 hopes alive with nail-biting win over Sunrisers
The Capitals climbed off the bottom rung of the SA20 ladder and the Sunrisers remained in third position
Pretoria Capitals captain Wayne Parnell celebrates a wicket with teammates during their SA20 match against the Sunrisers Eastern Cape. Picture: SA20
Saving their campaign with a crucial victory, the Pretoria Capitals lifted themselves from the bottom of the SA20 table with a three-run win over title holders Sunrisers Eastern Cape in Centurion on Thursday night.
Just three days after being handed a record nine-wicket defeat by the Sunrisers in Gqeberha, the Capitals had a chance to hit back against the defending SA20 champions in front of their home crowd.
They were on the back foot from the start, however, with the top order struggling to get them off the ground as they stumbled to 52/5 after six overs.
Their middle-order batters launched a recovery effort, with Shane Dadswell (24) and Jimmy Neesham (27) keeping the home side afloat as they scratched their way to 125 before they were bowled out with nine balls remaining in their innings.
All-rounder Marco Jansen (3/27) and Australian seamer Daniel Worrall (2/29) spearheaded the Sunrisers attack, combining well to rip through the Capitals top order.
Despite the Capitals looking down and out, the Sunrisers tumbled even more spectacularly, as they were reduced to 32/4 in the ninth over, still needing 94 runs from 63 deliveries with six wickets in hand.
Much like their opponents, the Eastern Cape side were forced to rely on their middle order, with Tristan Stubbs (35 runs) and Patrick Kruger (22) sharing a 40-run stand for the fifth wicket to give their side a chance.
But Capitals skipper Wayne Parnell broke the partnership with six overs left in the innings, and the breakthrough turned the match in his team’s favour with the next five wickets tumbling for just 30 runs.
Though Liam Dawson tried to put up a fight down the order, hitting 29 not out off 16 balls, it was not enough to get his side across the line in a thrilling encounter.
In a superb all-round effort from the home team’s bowling attack, Parnell (3/33), Adil Rashi (3/30) and Daryn Dupavillon (2/21) carried their team to victory.
While the Capitals climbed off the bottom rung of the league ladder, moving into fifth position, the Sunrisers remained in third position with four matches remaining in the opening round.