Match Report

All-Star Will Jacks Leads Pretoria Capitals to Commanding SA20 Win

Will Jacks produced an incredible all-round performance to power the Pretoria Capitals to their first win in the second edition of the SA20 League tournament on Thursday night.

John Goliath
John Goliath

Last Updated: 2024-01-17

Dillip Mohanty

Will Jacks fires Pretoria Capitals to first SA20 victory

Will Jacks produced an incredible all-round performance to power the Pretoria Capitals to their first win in the second edition of the SA20 League on Thursday night.

The Capitals beat the high-flying Durban Super Giants by 17 runs at their home at SuperSport Park in Centurion to open their account. Last season’s finalist lost their two matches home and away to the current log leader Paarl Royals.

Jacks scored a magnificent century, which included no less than nine massive hits out of the ground to propel the Capitals to 204/9 in their allotted 20 overs.

The Super Giants fought hard, but it was that man Jacks who took two big wickets with his gentle off-spin upfront, getting rid of the dangerous Kyle Mayers and Proteas white-ball star batsman Heinrich Klaasen.

In the end the Super Giants fell short of the target despite the best efforts of their lower order batsmen.

Salt was rather modest about his performance , which helped to breath life into the Capitals' campaign. 

"It was a good day, a good all-round performance," said Jacks at the post-match presentation.

"I focus a lot more on my batting (than the bowling). I think the bowling comes more naturally to me. I'm not great when practicing my bowling, but I find it easier to switch on in a match situation."

The win coincided with the return of Capitals captain Wayne Parnell, who had missed the first two matches because of injury. 

The all-rounder was a relieved man following the win, but thinks the Capitals still aren't playing to their full potential, especially as they could have killed the game with a much bigger score in the first innings of the match.

"Closing out out the game was very important for us, but, definitely, we still have a lot of things to work.

There are talented guys in every team, so for us it's literally to take it ball by ball. It's just about keeping things simple and trying to execute."

Salt and Jacks make hay while the sun shines

The English duo of Phil Salt and Will Jacks loves batting at SuperSport Park. Jacks even admitted it during the innings break that it’s his new favourite ground because of the pace in the surface.

It also helps that at altitude the ball goes a mile in the rarefied air, as Jacks showcased during his magnificent knock when he sent the sixes flying.

The pair put on 75 for the first wicket in just 5.2 overs to give the Capitals a brilliant start and the innings much-need momentum.

Salt, who was one of best batsmen in the first edition of the tournament, was the first to go after a knock of 23 from just 13 balls (2x4, 2x6). He was quickly followed by Theunis de Bruyn (2) and Rilee Rossouw (11), while Jacks was starved of the strike for a few overs.

Jacks scores one of the great SA20 centuries

When Jakes was on strike, though, he was almost unstoppable. He is seeing the ball big at the moment and striking with a lot of ferocity.

Jacks (101 from 42 balls, 8x4, 9x6) hit the Super Giants’ bowlers all around the wicket, and went to his century, the sixth in the tournament’s short history, with a massive six.

Jacks was ably supported by Colin Ingram (43 off 23 balls) as the two put on a partnership of 38 runs.

"This pitch gives you the confidence to not over hit the ball. So you can get in a good position and play good cricket shots," said Salt.

"We probably didn't do that at the end of our innings and tried to over hit the ball."

Capitals collapse at the back end of their innings

Jakes lost his wicket the very next ball after going to his century, which triggered a massive collapse.

The home side would lose their next five wickets for just seven runs, as the Durban team’s bowlers fought their way back in the clash.

Left-arm quick Reece Topley came back well at the end of the innings after he took some tap from Salt and Jacks at the start. He finished with figures of 3/34, while Junior Dala also took two wickets at the death.

Durban Super Giants captain Keshav Maharaj bemoaned the amount of freebies they dished up to Salt and Jacks in the power play, which put them on the back foot from the start of the match.

"The surface was good for batting upfront and we probably bowled too many bad balls," said Maharaj.

"When the guys are going like that (in the power play) we just have to slow it down and bring it down to our tempo and force them to hit into areas where we want them to hit. 

"They got the better of us today, but I thought the bowlers in the middle and towards the end pulled it back and gave us a strong chance."

Jacks of all trades gets Super Giants’ big fish

The Super Giants, who were unbeaten after the first three matches of the tournament, needed to make a bright start and the Proteas T20 opener Matthew Breetzke went hard at the bowling at the start of the innings.

Mayers opened the batting with Breetzke, with Quinton de Kock surprisingly making his way to the crease in the number three position instead of opening.

This decision backfired as Mayers struggled to get going, before being bowled by Jacks for just 11 runs off 11 balls.

Breetzke lost his wicket soon afterwards for 33 off 24 balls, which brought Klaasen to the crease to join De Kock.

But Jacks got the massive wicket of Klaasen, which came with a bit of good fortune.

Klaasen loves to bat at SuperSport, his home ground in domestic  cricket. Normally he eats off-spinners for breakfast, especially if they drag it short. But Klaasen ended up mistiming a Jacks long hop straight down the throat of the fielder on the leg-side fence.

"I really enjoy my bowling. I just tried to keep it simple with both bat and ball. It could be a tough ground to bowl at," Jacks said.

"You really have to find a plan here and I tried to keep it as simple as possible. Klaasen could have hit me for six - the ball was a bit of a drag down - but he lost his wicket and we managed to win the game."

Cameos not enough to see Super Giants over the line

The Super Giants needed one of their players to play a substantial innings in pursuit of the target. But they De Kock (25) and Jon Jon Smut (27) were unable to click into the gear in the middle order.

Proteas Dwaine Pretorius and Keshav Maharaj hit a few fierce blows towards the end of the innings, but they had a little too much to do before Jimmy Neesham closed out the game for the Capitals with a brilliant final over.

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.