Match Report

SA20: Junior Dala Bowls Durban Super Giants To Victory Over Pretoria Capitals

Seamer Junior Dala took an unbelieve catch and bowled the Durban Super Giants to victory over the Pretoria Capitals in their SA20 League fixture at Kingsmead in Durban.

John Goliath
John Goliath

Last Updated: 2024-01-30

Dillip Mohanty

Seamer Junior Dala took an unbelieve catch and then bowled the Durban Super Giants to victory over the Pretoria Capitals in their SA20 League fixture at Kingsmead in Durban on Tuesday.

The 9-run win guaranteed the Super Giants a place in the first playoff match of the tournament, as they are assured of finishing in the top two in the SA20 League standings.

The first playoff is an easier route to the final, with the winner progressing straight to the SA20 showpiece match at Newlands on February 10.

The loser will get another chance in the third playoff, where they will face the winner of the second playoff, which will be contested by the teams that finish third and fourth in the standings.

The Super Giants sit comfortably atop the standings on 32 points, 10 points ahead of the Paarl Royals and 13 points ahead of the Sunrisers. The Royals and the Sunrisers must play each other twice, so only one of them can mathematically catch the Super Giants.

The Pretoria Capitals will feel they blew a golden opportunity to move up to fourth in the standings with a win, especially after they managed to curb the Super Giants' awesome batting unit to just 174/7 despite Matthew Breetzke's top innings of 73 runs off 46 balls.

Senuran Muthusamy (3/26) and Daryn Dupavillon (3/25) were the Capitals' best bowlers, with Muthusamy getting the big wicket of Henrich Klaasen (30 off 18 balls).

But the Capitals fell short, thanks to some awesome bowling from the Super Giants in the middle overs, with Dala's 5/26 in four overs the standout performance of the match.

Will Jacks (41 off 26) was the only Capitals batsman to get going, with their other big gun Rilee Rossouw (10 off 27 balls) struggling against the spin pf Noor Ahmed (1/23) in the middle overs. 

The Capitals are still one point behind their neighbours Joburg Super Kings in fifth place, and will be praying for a few favours in the run in to the playoffs.

The Super Giants not worried about peaking too early

The Super Giants’ captain Keshav Maharaj says their best cricket is still to come, which is scary after their last four performances, which has included three-bonus point wins.

The Durban side seem to have all bases covered, with an explosive batting unit, great skill and speed in the field variety in the bowling attack, that includes good new-ball bowlers and potent spinners.

Last season they fell short in the SA20, but are now looking to go all the way.

“The strive for excellence is always there amongst the team. Everyone always wants to get better. It’s just about sticking to our processes, which we have done really well,” said Maharaj.

“We have been assessing conditions really well and adapting to it. We have to keep building on that and hopefully we can go all the way in the competition.”

Breetzke laying the platform for the Super Giants to fire with the bat

Breetzke is definitely peaking at the right time in terms of his numbers with bat in hand. After a couple of starts, which included a few 30s and 40s, he has come to that party in the last two matches, after also scoring a 78 in their previous outing against the Royals.

He was against the mainstay of the Super Giants’ batting, sharing a 61-runs stand off 42 balls with Quinton de Kock (16 off 7) and a 42-run stand off 28 balls with Heinrich Klaasen (30 off 18 balls), who came in a lot earlier than in the last couple of matches.

The Super Giants didn’t finish with a flourish we saw in the two matches against the Royals, but the start was good enough to post that competitive target.

“Breetzke is in fantastic form. He put us under a lot of pressure on quite a tough wicket to bat on and it got them off to a brilliant start,” said Capitals assistant coach Dale Benkenstein.

“Credit to our guys for an unbelievable comeback, 220 or more was on the cards. So to keep them down to 175 was a good effort, but there was a stage where we could have kept them down to even less.

“Heinrich is in the form of his life. He is probably one of the most feared players in the world at the moment. You do your homework and we have our plans for them.”

Dala and Noor Ahmed produce all-action bowling performance

The Capitals lost their big player Phil Salt (0) early when he was brilliantly caught by Dala off the Wiaan Mulder.

He slashed at a wide, swinging delivery, only to be caught on the point boundary by Dala, who leapt in the air with one hand to prevent the six, before clutching the rebound.

Dala got the big wickets of Jacks and Rossouw, in the middle overs where he and Afghanistan left-arm wrist spinner Noor Ahmed put the brakes on the innings.

Noor (1/23) has been unbelievable since joining the team halfway through their SA20 campaign, with the highlight being his five-wicket haul against the Royals last Sunday.

He bamboozled the Capitals, bowling Colin Ingram through the gate and keeping the dangerous Rossouw quiet.

“Kingsmead used to be fast-bowlers paradise, now there is a lot of spin around,” Benkenstein said.

“We were always losing wickets. They have got a mystery spinner and I think Noor was really tough to pick out there. He kept the pressure on.

“The game plan was to try and score off the seamers, but Junior Dala obviously had a fantastic day out and kept hitting our stumps.”

John Goliath
John GoliathSenior Sports Writer and Editor

John Goliath is a copywriter and editor with 20 years' experience in the sports media industry. John, a Tottenham Hotspur tragic, studied journalism in the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and has worked for two of the biggest media houses in South Africa.