29 Jan Playoffs qualification the prize for DSG and Royals on Sunday
Maintaining momentum will be key in the road to the playoffs
Sunday, 28 January 2024: The Road to the Betway SA20 Playoffs leads to Kingsmead on Sunday afternoon, where Durban’s Super Giants (DSG) host Paarl Royals (Royals) in a rematch of Friday’s fixture in the winelands.
While Friday’s bonus point win saw DSG both end Royals’ unbeaten home run in 2024 to go top of the log standings on 23 points (one above Royals), the winner today will be the first to secure a playoffs berth in Betway SA20 Season 2. MI Cape Town, currently in fifth place, can only get to a maximum of 24 points which either DSG or Royals would exceed with a win.
Friday’s match saw the return to form of Quinton de Kock, whose 83 not out did just as DSG head coach Lance Klusener predicted by “winning us big games”. DSG captain Keshav Maharaj echoed their coach’s assertion post-match.
“We saw the class of Quinny and I’m so happy for him that he’s back in his rhythms. He showed the positive intent of an ‘in’ batter at the end and helped us and then Klaasie [Heinrich Klaasen] – we know what he can do – was exceptional at the end. I’m very proud of the boys.”
Seeing De Kock walked out to bat at number 4 rather than open or first drop, surprised many observers but Maharaj confirmed that he embraced the change of position.
“Quinny’s quite easy to handle, I think he’d bat anywhere in the batting lineup so full credit to him for taking on the responsibility and showing such maturity throughout the innings. The way he paced his innings was absolutely superb and sublime to watch.”
Meanwhile, with playoffs qualification all but secured, Maharaj cautioned his team against getting ahead of themselves.
“It’s not about taking our foot off the gas and getting complacent. It’s about making sure we still playing to our rhythms and executing our skills. If you asked us before the Cape trip what we thought of two bonus points then we would have taken it happily.”
For Maharaj, finishing first or second at the end of the group stage has to be DSG goal now.
“It’s crucial, you know it’s always nice to qualify but if you give yourself an extra bite of the cherry then it makes life a little bit less tense but we’re taking nothing for granted because we still want to go as high as we can in this competition and put ourselves in a position to finish in the top two.”
Royals’ captain David Miller, who returned from a calf injury that he confirmed was “strong”, was eager to not harp on about Friday’s blip.
“I don’t think there’s anything to be concerned about, just a couple of conversations to be had around a few areas like what the guys were thinking in certain moments of the game.”
The hard-hitting left-hander spoke in a similar vein to Maharaj when looking forward to the last three group stage matches before the playoffs.
“I think we’ve been really consistent throughout the competition. That was only our second game lost in seven games so we’re on a good path, but momentum is key here so we don’t want to take our foot off the gas towards the back-end. We want to really stamp our authority and play the cricket that we know – unfortunately this game, T20, can sometimes go like that.”
This match will start at 15h30 (SAST).
FULL SQUADS FOR KINGSMEAD
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.
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.
Match referee: Zama Ndamane
Standing umpires: Abdoellah Steenkamp and Abongile Sodumo
TV umpire: Stephen Harris
Reserve umpire: Ryan Hendricks
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