After a washout in the opening match, the SA20 season will hopefully see its first action on Thursday when the Durban’s Super Giants take on the MI Cape Town in a clash between the two sides who didn’t make the finals last season.
The hope for both of these teams is to be much more competitive this time around. Durban look to have done some good work in the off-season while Cape Town have had a late blow to their squad so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Durban’s Super Giants
The Durban’s Super Giants missed out on the semi-finals last season on net run rate so that is the first thing they will want to be aware of this term. They also missed out on a winning bonus point which would have got them into a semi-final as well so that is another thing they can concentrate on, especially with their powerful middle order this term. Ultimately though, they will be wanting to win more than four matches throughout this campaign.
When you look down the squad of the Durban’s Super Giants, it is fair to say they look very fearsome with the bat, especially in the middle order where they have a couple of the most brutal players in the modern game at their disposal. I wouldn’t say there are question marks over their bowlers but I do think they need to prove that they can get the job done for their side. A winning start to build confidence could see Durban being very dangerous.
MI Cape Town
The MI Cape Town side were the flops of last season. They went into the campaign as the favourites to win the title having assembled a strong squad but they could only win three of their 10 matches and were out of contention far too early, eventually finishing bottom of the pile. It goes without saying that a significant improvement is needed from them this season but a late change in their hierarchy might not have done them any favours.
I think it is fair to say that MI Cape Town have fewer stars in their side this time around but that might allow them to gel as a team more. They don’t lack for batting firepower but the one question which would hang over them is the form of some of their bowlers. Last season Sam Curran came in off the back of a fine T20 World Cup but he has been in poor form recently and there is no Rashid Khan for them this year either.
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Heinrich Klaasen has been a revelation wherever he has played his cricket over the last 12 months or so and he will be looked upon to propel a total for the Durban’s Super Giants as his stock continues to rise in the game.
Liam Livingstone is a new recruit for the MI Cape Town this season and this tournament could really suit his big hitting style. If he can get a few shots away and announce himself in style it would do the visitors no harm at all.
I think with the firepower that is on show here we have to think that sixes are going to be on the menu. When these two met here last year there were 14 sixes and since then the likes of Liam Livingstone and Nicholas Pooran have been added to the squads of these sides. I don’t think there is much in the way of danger with the ball. Rashid Khan was involved in this contest last year but he isn’t around this time while Kagiso Rabada bowled well and still the sixes flowed.
The pitches should be good in the early stages of this tournament, especially after the criticism of the Test pitch in this part of the world last week and a good pitch and not the biggest boundaries should be lighting up the eyes of the batters here. These two sides didn’t really take advantage of the bonus point situation a year ago but I expect that to be a focus of theirs this time around and when you weigh it all up I’m not convinced that a 13.5 sixes line will be high enough.
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