04th Feb, 2023
PCvMICT report: Hearts, broken. But we gave it our everything!
MI Cape Town produced a superb team effort as they went down fighting in a last-ball thriller against Pretoria Capitals at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
MICT fought till the very end but lost the match by a slender one-wicket margin in front of a packed stadium but this match will certainly go down as one of the most exciting contests in the inaugural edition of SA20.
Sam Curran almost pulled off the game for MICT while trying to defend a meagre 6 runs from the final over and gave a twist by dismissing the set batter in Senuran Muthusamy. The left-arm English pacer showcased his class and returned with impressive figures of 3/26.
Kagiso Rabada – continued to prove himself as a trusted lieutenant for captain Rashid Khan – as the Protea pacer delivered when it mattered the most and helped MICT claw back in the game. Rabada sent dangerman Rossouw back in the dugout and scripted his team's comeback, just when things were looking like a cakewalk for the chasing side.
Odean Smith continues to prove himself as a man with the golden arm as he struck twice in an over to push the opposition on the back foot.
Captain Rashid controlled the game in his economical spell and conceded just 17 runs from his full quota of 4 overs and bagged a wicket on his first ball of the match.
MICT were equally good in the field as well and kept saving those odd runs with electrifying fielding efforts to peg the opponents back.
Earlier in the day, in-form Rassie van der Dussen continued his good run with the bat and smashed a 29-ball 51 for MICT. He didn't find much support from the other end as MICT batters were restricted to 159 in 19.4 overs.
Captain Rashid's tactical acumen came to the fore yet again as he rotated his bowlers brilliantly and led from the front. The Afghanistan cricketer commended the way his team responded in the second innings despite the opposition getting off to a brisk start in the low run chase.
“It was a great effort. Great game of cricket, the areas which we were struggling with in the last few games and today it happened again. I feel we were 15-20 runs short. 180 was a good total on this and a good chasing wicket as well. Credit goes to the bowlers who took it to the last ball,” Rashid said at the post-match presentation.
MICT head coach Simon Katich also seconded the skipper's opinion and didn't mix words when he said the team fell 15-20 runs short with the bat, which could have made the difference.
“We fell 15-20 runs short (with the bat). At one stage we were 100 for three, were going nicely and there were probably 8 or 9 overs remaining. So, 180 was certainly within reach. But credit to them, they kept coming hard at us and we lacked a bit of game awareness in terms of stringing those partnerships together.
“We probably just panicked a little bit earlier with the bat I think, and with the ball, I thought it took us four or five overs (upfront) to get those right lines and lengths on the wicket. We gave them a head start of 50 runs but you can't ignore the spirit and effort of our boys with the ball, and in the field to nearly defend 160. I thought we hung in there really well,” the former Australia cricketer said during the post-match press conference.