16 Jan MICT hope to keep rolling against SEC at Newlands
Cape Town team want to keep fans smiling at first home match of Season 2
Tuesday, 16 January 2024: In-form opener, Ryan Rickleton, believes MI Cape Town “owe” the Newlands faithful a special performance in tonight’s first Betway SA20 home game against Sunrisers Eastern Cape (Start 5:30pm SAST).
MI Cape Town had a disappointing inaugural season last year, but have shown major improvements in Season 2, highlighted by their 98-run victory over Joburg Super Kings at the Wanderers over the weekend.
Rickelton, who is the tournament’s leading run-scorer with 185 runs at the identical strike-rate of 185 across two matches, wants to now display that form under the watch of the majestic Table Mountain.
“Last year was a frustration not just for me, but as a group. We knew we needed to rectify it. We almost felt that we had nothing to lose, that’s how bad it was,” Rickelton said.
“It’s rolling for me at the moment, so I am just going to stick to it. Obviously, I just want to do well for the team and do justice to myself.
“It would be cool to do it out here at Newlands. As a group our record here isn’t very good based on last season. We have buried that and now all excited to go out there and do it.
“We owe them (the fans), we owe ourselves, and we owe everyone at MI.”
A major part of MICT’s turnaround has been Rickelton’s success at the top of the order. The attacking left-hander has praised new coach Robin Peterson for breaking the shackles and allowing him to play his natural game.
“Robbie has just given me the opportunity to be free in the way I play. I think maybe it’s been a long time coming, in terms of the way I play the game, it just needed a mental shift more than a technical shift,” he said.
“Robbie has given me the licence to try and look after the Power Play, and do what I need to do, which is to try and set the game up for our heavy lifting middle order.”
Sunrisers Eastern Cape, meanwhile, are still seeking their first win of the competition after falling short in a high-scoring encounter with Durban’s Super Giants at St George’s Park over the weekend.
The defending champions are currently on two points after their opening game against JSK was abandoned due to rain.
England all-rounder Liam Dawson believes they are not feeling the pressure just yet.
“I think you always want to win and get off to a good start, and when you do it settles the nerves,” Dawson said.
“We know it’s the top four that qualify and ideally you want to finish in the top two, but there are still plenty of games left.”
Dawson also claimed that the Sunrisers are well prepared to contain the competition’s most in-form opening pair of Rickelton and Rassie van der Dussen, who are followed by the likes of Liam Livingstone and Kieron Pollard.
“MI Cape Town are a very good team, and it’s tough being a bowler in this format of the game,” he said.
“You have to execute your skills not only as an individual, but also as a group. That’s what we are trying to do.”
With this being the first home match of Season 2, the Newlands faithful will be treated to an entertaining set from South Africa’s premium party band, Me and Mr Green. The stadium will be the place to be with several activities for the entire family including face painters, stilt walkers, the Castle Lite Party Zone, Kiss Cam and an opportunity to be part of the Betway Catch 2 Million. Gates open at 15h30 SAST.
FULL SQUADS FOR NEWLANDS
MI Cape Town: Kieron Pollard (captain), Tom Banton, Chris Benjamin, Dewald Brevis, Sam Curran, Connor Esterhuizen, Beuran Hendricks, Duan Jansen, Thomas Kaber, George Linde, Liam Livingstone, Delano Potgieter, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Grant Roelofsen, Olly Stone, Nuwan Thushara, Rassie van der Dussen, Nealan van Heerden.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape: Aiden Markram (captain), Tom Abell, Ottniel Baartman, Temba Bavuma, Liam Dawson, Sarel Erwee, Aya Gqamane, Simon Harmer, Jordan Hermann, Marco Jansen, Patrick Kruger, Dawid Malan, Adam Rossington, Caleb Seleka, Andile Simelane, Tristan Stubbs, Beyers Swanepoel, Daniel Worrall.
Referee: Gerrie Pienaar
On-field Umpires: Marais Erasmus and Thomas Mokorosi
TV Umpire: Abdoellah Steenkamp
Reserve Umpire: Siphelele Gasa
Video from the pre-match press conference featuring Ryan Rickelton and Beuran Hendricks can be located below:
Rights free images from the Betway SA20 are available below.
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