Cape Town — Phil Salt powered the Pretoria Capitals to a comfortable 23-run victory over the Sunrisers Eastern Cape at St George’s Park in Gqeberha.
Salt struck 11 boundaries as he kept the Capitals innings together as wickets fell regularly on the other side before all-rounders Jimmy Neesham and captain Wayne Parnell stayed with him long enough for the Capitals to post 193/6.
Neesham’s 28-ball 37 was invaluable as the pair added 77 for the sixth wicket. It was a crucial partnership in the context of the game as Sunrisers captain Aiden Markram had just picked two wickets in successive balls to leave the Capitals in trouble at 80/5.
The Salt-Neesham partnership set the game up perfectly for Parnell to rediscover his clean striking as the skipper muscled 29 off just nine deliveries.
The Sunrisers bowling attack would have been frustrated with their performance on the night as they hit neither their lines or lengths regularly enough.
In contrast, the Capitals bowling unit were spot on from the outset with Parnell striking the first blow when he removed Proteas Test opener Sarel Erwee.
That set it up perfectly for Anrich Nortje (2/18) to charge in. The Proteas express, who hails from nearby Uitenhage, built up a good head of steam on the night.
It was, however, his change of pace that proved to be the undoing of Jordan Cox.
Veteran all-rounder Jon Jon Smuts played a lone hand at the top with 66 and Tristan Stubbs threatened with 23, but the home team simply never put together any partnerships of significance to really trouble the Capitals.
Tom Abell (40 not out) and James Fuller (27 not out) brought some respectability to the Sunrisers’ total, but it was nearly enough on the night.
Pretoria Capitals: 193/6 (Phil Salt 77, James Neesham 37, Aiden Markram 2/17, Ottniel Baartman 2/45)
Sunrisers Eastern Cape: 170/5 (Jon-Jon Smuts 60, Tom Abell 40, Anrich Nortje 2/18, Wayne Parnell 1/38, James Neesham 1/38)
Capitals won by 23 runs