Kieron Pollard apologises after Pretoria Capitals dash MI Cape Town’s playoff hopes

Senuran Muthusamy of Pretoria Capitals flicks a delivery to the boundary

Senuran Muthusamy of Pretoria Capitals flicks a delivery to the boundary

Published Feb 3, 2024


Pretoria Capitals dealt MI Cape Town a killer blow on Saturday afternoon at Newlands when they edged out the home side by four wickets with just two balls remaining.

The Newlands faithful were treated to a SA20 League thriller, but had the misfortune of watching their side fail to reach the qualifiers for the second season running.

MI Cape Town look back at not only this final encounter but their entire season as one of lost opportunities - most crucially their failure to secure a bonus point two nights ago at Centurion when they had the Capitals deep in trouble.

It came back to haunt them with two lower-order partnerships of 55 off 35 balls between Theunis de Bruyn and Senuran Muthusamy and then Muthusamy and captain Wayne Parnell held their nerve in an unbroken 34-run partnership off just 13 balls.

Both De Bruyn (42 off 33 balls) and Muthusamy’s 38 not out off 18 balls (2x4, 3x6) contributions would have given the Capitals plenty of satisfaction.

De Bruyn had a terrible SA20 season 2, and was initially dropped after a poor run of scores.

But he was recalled on Saturday and slotted lower down the order and came good just when his team needed it most.

Equally, Muthusamy is a man for the crunch moments and he certainly delivered when it mattered.

And they certainly needed it after the Capitals slumped to 78/5 in pursuit of MI Cape Town's 163/9.

Thursday night’s centurion Kyle Verreynne had threatened again with 34, but a double strike from MI Cape Town’s left-arm spinner George Linde had left the Capitals with plenty of work to do, especially after openers Phil Salt and Will Jacks fell cheaply upfront.

Equally, MI Cape Town would have felt that they had left at least 30 runs out there after a blistering start from their openers Ryan Rickelton and Rassie van der Dussen.

The pair once again put on 62 in just seven overs before Rickelton fell to a sensational catch by Rilee Rossouw at point off Colin Ackerman for 35.

Van der Dussen continued on his merry way and brought up his half-century off 37 balls, but when he was dismissed for 60, MI Cape Town's innings fell away.

Captain Kieron Pollard tried his best to maintain the momentum with 33 off 16 balls, but his counterpart Parnell (4/33) delivered counter punched with a four-wicket haul.

“Great performance from us. Really impressive from the bowling group and also the batters towards the end,” Parnell said.

“I had 175 in my mind as a figure to keep them under. 180-190 would have been a winning score, to restrict them (to 163) was a good effort from our bowlers.

“They have a quality bowling line-up too and that put us under pressure. He (Muthusamy) just keeps finding ways to win us the game. He is a classy player, who can hurt you in different ways.”

Pollard, meanwhile, was left despondent and apologised to the MI Cape Town faithful.

“Very well played to the Pretoria Capitals. Need to give attention to details. You try different things, sometimes it works. They started with spin, our pacers got wickets. We can analyse a lot of different things. Were looking around 180, we were 15-20 runs short,” he said.

“I can't pinpoint right now, as a management we have to go back and discuss about a lot of different things. We are going to come back harder next year. Hopefully next year is a better year for us, would want to apologise to our fans.”