26 Jan Boland Park to host clash of settled bowling and roving batting
Klusener and Buttler look ahead with play-off spots are up for grabs
Friday, 26 January 2024: Table-toppers, Paarl Royals, will host second-placed Durban’s Super Giants in an intriguing clash of styles on Friday evening.
The hosts come into the match with five wins from their six matches to date, with their settled bowling unit having been key to their success. Meanwhile, Durban’s Super Giants have gone for a unique approach of moving their star batters up-and-down the order – and it’s helped them to four wins from their first six matches.
Following Royals’ ‘come-from-behind’ victory at Joburg Super Kings on Wednesday, their stand-in captain, Jos Buttler, spoke about the impact the bowling unit have had.
“I think the clarity to be honest, especially with the ball. Shane Bond and Mandla [Mashimbyi] have been excellent in the way that they’ve worked with the bowling group and not just the bowlers but the whole team to understand the way they want the guys to bowl and what fields they want to set at certain times – so a very simple plan that the guys are sticking to and when you get results early on that breeds belief in what they’re talking about especially as well.”
When asked about peaking at the ‘right time’, like in the playoffs and a potential final, Buttler was happy to live in the present.
“Yes you do [want to peak in the knockout stage], but you don’t want to worry about that when you’re in our position. I’d rather be in this position than hoping we come good at some point. The boys have played really well and there’s lots of confidence in the group. The games keep coming thick and fast but hopefully we can ride this momentum.”
Durban’s Super Giants, meanwhile, have had a whole week to settle in the Cape since getting the better of MI Cape Town at Newlands on Tuesday – after which their head coach, Lance Klusener, spoke about their batting plan this campaign.
“We’re blessed with people who can bat throughout the batting order. It’s just making sure that we we’re giving people the opportunity to bat when it best suits them. We’ve now got [Marcus] Stoinis, who can bat up in the Powerplay, and has been finishing well for [Lucknow Super Giants] as well too in the last IPL so we’re blessed with that but still we’re a little bit off finding a top batting performance.
“We’ve got a little bit of work to do there, but it was nice to see the fight [against MI Cape Town] and that’s what we’ve been challenging ourselves on that it’s fine to have a talented team, but if you don’t fight you’re always going to come unstuck.”
While all of Matthew Breetzke, Jon-Jon Smuts, talisman Heinrich Klaasen, the now departed Nicholas Pooran and Wiaan Mulder have contributed significant runs this season, 2023 captain Quinton de Kock has yet to. Klusener was keen to emphasise that they have no worries about his lack of form, so far.
“He’ll win us one or two big games, so we’re not concerned about that. He’s got high standards so he’s a little bit frustrated with himself, but I think he’s keeping was outstanding [against MICT] even if he was unlucky with the bat.
That just shows his spirit and his space. He’s going to win a couple of games for us I’m pretty certain going forward. Quinny’s pretty flexible, anywhere in the top, and we want to give people the best opportunity in positions they’re accustomed to.”
Looking to the top-of-the-table clash, on a pitch that has been playing differently to Newlands and certainly DSG’s Kingsmead home, Klusener looked forward to the challenge.
“It’s a big leg for us, we’re trying to qualify [for the playoffs] on this leg and we’re off to a good start but Paarl is a tough place to go and play as well so we’re looking forward to that challenge. It’s always nice to go to Paarl with a little bit of momentum … but it is a tough place to go and play.”
This match will start at 17h30 (SAST) local time.
FULL SQUADS FOR BOLAND PARK
Paarl Royals: David Miller (captain), Ferisco Adams, Fabian Allen, Jos Buttler, Keith Dudgeon, Bjorn Fortuin, Evan Jones, Wihan Lubbe, Obed McCoy, Lungi Ngidi, Nqaba Peter, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jason Roy, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lorcan Tucker, John Turner, Mitchell van Buuren, Dane Vilas, Codi Yusuf.
Durban’s Super Giants: Keshav Maharaj (captain), Noor Ahmad, Matthew Breetzke, Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, Tony de Zorzi, Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Mayers, Wiaan Mulder, Naveen-ul-Haq Murid, Bryce Parsons, Keemo Paul, Dwaine Pretorius, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jon-Jon Smuts, Jason Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Prenelan Subrayen, Reece Topley.
Match referee: Shandre Fritz
Standing umpires: Stephen Harris and Ryan Hendricks
TV umpire: Siphelele Gasa
Reserve umpire: Abdoellah Steenkamp
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