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‘Form is temporary’ as Rossouw comes good with decisive semi-final contribution

  • Pretoria Capitals batter Rilee Rossouw relied on his class to pull through what has been a tough SA20.
  • After a string of extended low scores, he made 56 in the Capitals’ 29-run win against the Paarl Royals.
  • The win allowed the Capitals to qualify for Saturday’s final at the Wanderers.

Pretoria Capitals batter Rilee Rossouw admitted the well-worn cricket truism of ‘form being temporary and class being permanent’ is a cliché, but one that’s applicable to him.

In the lead-up to Wednesday’s first SA20 semi-final between the Capitals and the Paarl Royals, a game the former won by 29 runs to qualify for Saturday’s final, Rossouw had only scored 127 runs at an average of 12.7 having played in all the round-round robin games.

On a turgid and turning Wanderers surface, Rossouw picked the best day to find some form, making a 41-ball 56 that proved to be the difference between the first and fourth-placed team.

Rossouw didn’t want to sound flippant, especially in the face of a hard-earned win, but said he needed to prove to himself that he belongs at this level.

READ | SA20’s movers and shakers: From ‘Jos the Boss’ to stumbling Stubbs

“It’s a mindset thing, but as the saying goes, and I hope I won’t burst myself for saying this, but form is temporary, class is permanent,” Rossouw said.

“In this game, it was an attitude thing knowing that I am good, and I can play this format at this level. I’ve played at higher levels, so it was about knuckling down and backing your ability.

“I also needed to play with positive intent today.”

Wednesday’s win was a contrasting one from Tuesday evening’s stroll where the Royals didn’t even attempt to chase the 226 set for them.

The Capitals needed an individual to play around, from where a defendable total could be set, with Rossouw being the one to bat through.

READ | Rocking Rilee has 56 reasons to celebrate Pretoria Capitals’ win, but treasures Morgan wicket

With the Capitals having lost three league games out of 10, Rossouw said they have a sense of family that’s allowed them to look after each other from a performance perspective.

“At the start of the tournament, we spoke about building a family, and as cliched as that may sound, the guys bought into it,” Rossouw said.

“They believed in the process of backing each other during the good and the tough times. We’ve also got a well-balanced side where everyone looks after each other in all departments.

“There are guys who are chipping in very well, so the success is supported and so are the tough times. Everyone’s got each other’s back.”

The Capitals await the winner of Thursday’s second semi between the Joburg Super Kings and the Sunrisers Eastern Cape.

READ | SA20’s riveting group stage ends: How did YOUR franchise fare?

Those sides meet at the far more batter-friendly SuperSport Park in Centurion, with Saturday’s final taking place at the Wanderers.

Having had some experience of an unusually sub-continental Wanderers surface, Rossouw doesn’t expect the pitch to change much.

“The key thing would be to sum up the conditions as fast as you can to see the type of wicket prepared for the game,” Rossouw said.

“We can more or less assume it’ll be like something we’ve seen today, from where we assess how we play our cricket, which we play with fearlessness.”

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