Paarl — It hasn't been a good week for the Western Cape's two Betway SA20 teams.
Both MI Cape Town and the Paarl Royals went down to the Sunrisers Eastern Cape on consecutive days.
But all this has done though is raise the stakes even more when they meet in the second Cape derby at Boland Park on Saturday.
MI Cape Town claimed the spoils in the tournament opener last week at Newlands, but there is literally nothing separating them now with both teams on nine points from five matches.
"I won't say we're looking for revenge, but remember these are our neighbors and there is always a good rivalry," said Royals spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.
It is almost a foregone conclusion that the Royals will look to attack MI Cape Town with their arsenal of spinners that includes Shamsi and the in-form Bjorn Fortuin.
It has though been a quiet tournament thus far for the world's sixth-ranked T20 bowler Shamsi. A hamstring injury has played its role in curtailing his impact with the wrist-spinner picking up just two wickets thus far in the competition.
Shamsi's lack of success has been off-set though by the brilliant Fortuin. The left-arm spinner would possibly like to roll up the Boland Park surface and take it with him everywhere he plays for his ridiculously prolific at the Royals' home ground.
Fortuin was once again excellent against the Sunrisers where he turned the match on its head with three wickets in over to give the Royals some hope of defending a paltry target.
The three-wicket haul propelled Fortuin to top of the SA20 wicket-takers chart alongside his teammate Evan Jones.
Shamsi is concerned with his lack of wickets at the moment and is instead pleased to play the supporting role to Fortuin at the moment.
Meanwhile, MI Cape Town coach Simon Katich believes the shock defeat to Sunrisers should not have any impact on his team in the Western Cape derby.
MI Cape Town were seemingly destined to take the spoils against the Eastern Cape team before Marco Jansen launched an astonishing assault on captain Rashid Khan. Jansen clubbed 28 runs in the over and thereby switching the momentum to the Sunrisers who ultimately claimed victory.
"We need to pick ourselves up as we are halfway through the stage. We can't dwell much on the past because it will also affect your next game," Katich said.
"Only 20% of the game went sideways for us. We batted pretty decently in this game and the batters did well and got us into a good position. We batted with more intent. We played well but couldn't finish it in the end.”
There will certainly be plenty of focus on batting line-ups in the derby, especially the respective opening pairs.
MI Cape Town rely heavily on young Dewald Brevis and Ryan Rickelton to provide the impetus upfront that allows their all-rounders to play with greater freedom lower down.
Equally, the Royals need their English duo Jos Buttler and the out-of-form Jason Roy to rediscover their mojo in order to lay the platform the likes of David Miller and Eoin Morgan.
Squads for Boland Park
Paarl Royals: David Miller (c), Jos Buttler, Corbin Bosch, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jason Roy, Dane Vilas, Bjorn Fortuin, Mitchell van Buuren, Wihan Lubbe, Ferisco Adams, Imran Manack, Evan Jones, Ramon Simmonds, Eoin Morgan, Codi Yusuf, Andile Phehlukwayo.
MI Cape Town: Dewald Brevis, Liam Livingstone, George Linde, Delano Potgieter, Rassie van der Dussen, Ryan Rickelton(w), Sam Curran, Rashid Khan (c), Kagiso Rabadan, Jofra Archer, Odean Smith, Olly Stone, Beuran Hendricks, Ziyaad Abrahams, Grant Roelofsen, Waqar Salamkheil, Wesley Marshall, Duan Jansen.
Start: 1:30pm TV: SS2