Durban’s Super Giants looking to squash Pretoria Capitals in SA20 clash

Marcus Stoinis of Durban's Super Giants celebrates the wicket of Jimmy Neesham of Pretoria Capitals

Durban’s Super Giants may not be everyone’s favourite team, but they are fast developing into the leading contenders for the SA20 title with players like Marcus Stoinis (pictured) and Reece Topley shining. Picture: Arjun Singh/SportzPics

Published Jan 30, 2024


Durban’s Super Giants may not be everyone’s favourite team, but they are fast developing into the leading contenders for the SA20 title.

Many of the fans’ top choices are MI Cape Town and Joburg Super Kings due to their respective Indian Premier League connections, but DSG are showing they are more than able to go toe-to-toe with the heavyweights.

In fact, it has been DSG that has been handing out the knockout punches as they became the first team to qualify for the playoffs after their resounding 125-run bonus point victory over second-placed Paarl Royals at Kingsmead on Sunday.

The DSG line-up is packed with X-factor players throughout their squad. Even the loss of overseas stars Nicholas Pooran and Richard Gleeson has been absorbed with the recruitment of Marcus Stoinis, Naveen-ul-Haq and Noor Ahmad.

Stoinis starring for Super Giants

Stoinis' all-round versatility has been a significant factor for the Super Giants as his ability to take the new ball - and then back it by striking in the Power Play too - has relieved plenty of the pressure on talisman Reece Topley.

Equally, Noor Ahmad is a genuine strike bowler that the DSG can turn to after captain Keshav Maharaj, who is the leading spinner in the competition, has built up the pressure through his routinely economical spells.

Noor Ahmad is, though, pure box office. The Afghan teenager boasts a magic box full of tricks that allows him to weave his spell around the opposition. The Royals will certainly attest to it after Noor Ahmad claimed 5/11 - the first five-wicket haul this season - against them on Sunday.

However, it's DSG’s heavy hitters with the willow that has everyone quaking in their boots.

The options available to coach Lance Klusener are astonishing with virtually the entire top six interchangeable.

Matthew Breetzke, who has moved up to second on the tournament’s run-scoring list with 301 runs after his 43-ball 78 against the Royals, is certainly enjoying the freedom instilled by Klusener.

“At the start of the competition we told ourselves that we are probably the best team and we need to believe that and play like that,” the stylish right-hander, who is reminiscent of Herschelle Gibbs in his heyday, said.

“We are happy to be doing that, but it;’s still early days and we need to keep performing. Lance is very clear about what he wants from us and everyone knows their roles pretty clearly. We all know what we need to do and that has probably been the biggest factor for us.

“I had been getting a lot of starts. Stoked to kick on past fifty. My game's definitely grown a lot (from first season to second). Wouldn't say I've made too many technical changes. The more you play the better you get. Vibe in the team is really good.”

Quality depth

The class of Breetzke and De Zorzi is followed by anyone of Quinton de Kock, Jon Jon Smuts and Heinrich Klaasen.

Both De Kock and Smuts have delivered match-winning performances this season, but it is Klaasen that is proving to be the point of difference.

The Proteas superstar is striking at an astonishing 207.41, which has been helped by 23 sixes and 18 fours.

Klaasen clubbed the fastest 50 in the history of SA20 off just 17 balls against the Royals to cement his status as the most explosive batter in the competition.

With qualification for the playoffs assured with three games still remaining, there is a temptation to provide the bench strength that consists of Dwaine Pretorius, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kyle Mayers, Keemo Paul and Jason Smith a run out.

However, the Super Giants will want to secure top spot as early as possible, starting with another victory over the struggling Pretoria Capitals on Tuesday at Kingsmead.