The Super Kings were clinical in despatching the Paarl Royals by nine wickets in the Eliminator last night. They will now face Durban’s Super Giants in Qualifier 2 at the Wanderers tonight. The winner of Qualifier 2 will face Sunrisers Eastern Cape in Saturday’s grand final at Newlands.
English seamer Sam Cook ran through the Royals batting unit on his Super Kings debut to claim 4/24. With Nandre Burger also offering up good support of 3/26, the Royals were bundled out for a meagre 138.
Cook’s selection was only due to Lizaad Williams being ruled out of the playoff clash with a side strain. Williams is the leading wicket-taker for the Super Kings in the competition.
But Cook was certainly up for the challenge and delivered a statement with a double wicket over early on. He claimed the big wicket of England white-ball captain Jos Buttler, whose attempted lap shot led to his demise, before removing Mitchell van Buuren.
The latter’s dismissal was, however, due to a fantastic running catch by Imran Tahir. The 44-year-old veteran turned back the clock by sprinting with the ball looping over his shoulder before diving back to take it two-handed.
Tahir’s catch proved to be the inspiration the Super Kings were seeking as they remained in control for the rest of the match. The leg-spinner also claimed two wickets for good measure, which included the major scalp of Royals captain David Miller.
The visiting skipper tried his level best to keep his team afloat, but eventually departed for 47.
The Joburg Super Kings run chase was never in any doubt. Leus du Plooy set the tone when he took the attack to Codi Yusuf in the seamer’s first over from the Golf Course End.
Du Plooy bashed 18 runs off Yusuf’s over and the Super Kings were on their way.
It was the worst possible start for the Royals, especially as they had opted for Yusuf ahead of the experienced Proteas opening bowler Lungi Ngidi.
Du Plooy and his captain Faf du Plessis dominated the Power Play as they raced to 63 without loss within the first six overs.
Du Plessis was content to play the anchor role in the partnership with the skipper on just 18 when Du Plooy reached his half-century off just 29 balls (6 x 4, 2 x 6).
The Super Kings opening pair ate a further chunk out of the run chase as they brought up their 100-run partnership in 62 balls.
Unfortunately, Du Plooy fell shortly afterwards for an entertaining 68 off 43 balls when he was beaten in the flight by Tabraiz Shamsi allowing Buttler to whip off the bails.
But by then the Wanderers crowd were already making plans to come back today for Qualifier 2 with Du Plessis (55 not out) guiding his team home with another solid half-century.