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


Pretoria Capitals batter Rilee Rossouw turning his arm over.

Pretoria Capitals batter Rilee Rossouw turning his arm over.

  • Pretoria Capitals batter Rilee Rossouw took pride in the sole wicket he took during his team’s 29-run win against the Paarl Royals at the Wanderers on Wednesday.
  • The win allowed the Capitals, who topped the log, to book a place in Saturday’s final where they’ll meet the winner of Thursday’s semi-final between the Joburg Super Kings and the Sunrisers Eastern Cape.
  • Rossouw, who top-scored in the game with 56, took the wicket of former England captain Eoin Morgan for the second time in his T20 career.

Pretoria Capitals batter Rilee Rossouw may have top-scored and collected the man-of-the-match award in his team’s 29-run win over the Paarl Royals in the first SA20 semi-final on Wednesday, but it’s the wicket of Eoin Morgan that he treasured.

On a square-turning Wanderers surface, Rossouw was given an over where he not only dismissed the former England captain, but nearly had Evan Jones out leg-before.

He only conceded three runs in the over, including a wide, but the sight of two left-handers in the middle, despite Morgan’s and David Miller’s pedigree, was salivating enough for Capitals skipper Theunis de Bruyn to give Rossouw the ball.

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Rossouw, who sported a broad grin, said the tactic was discussed with Capitals coach Graham Ford before it’s precise execution in the game.

“I spoke to Fordie at practice, and I kept on harping at them about only bowling in big games,” Rossouw said.

“I’ve taken wickets in semi-finals and even though it started as a joke, I have a decent record in semi-finals.

“In all seriousness, I thought there was a very good possibility, so I was asked to bowl and I bowled and I knew Miller wouldn’t want to get out to me.

“Two left-handers favoured me, and I’ve got Morgan out and it only took me one ball, so it’s two in two for me against him.

“I felt confident.”

READ | Pretoria Capitals earn 29-run win over Paarl Royals to qualify for SA20 final

In the absence of an off-spinner, Rossouw was actually a smart move considering the turn leg-spinner Adil Rashid was generating.

Senuran Muthusamy was given a run early, but was taken apart by Jos Buttler up front and couldn’t be risked later in the game.

Rossouw said he enjoyed his seven-ball stint, especially on a welcoming surface.

“The wicket favoured the spinners and it’s a pity we didn’t have another off-spinner in the team, one that can actually bowl properly,” Rossouw said.

“When the opportunity comes, you have to grab it and it was fun and I really enjoyed it. It’s something I’m not used to, but something I enjoyed.”

The unusual Highveld Bunsen burner also allowed Tabraiz Shamsi (2/19) to find some much-needed form, while Bjorn Fortuin (1/24) also excelled.

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Rossouw, who made his entrance in the seventh over and departed in the 19th after making 56 off 41 balls, applauded Shamsi for making the best use of the advantage that came his way.

Rossouw said they needed to target the Royals’ death bowling as they’d identified it as a potential weakness.

“Shamo bowled unbelievably well, and he proved again what a world-class spinner he is,” Rossouw said.

“He’s one of the best in the business and he was one of the bowlers that we needed to play through because they didn’t have much in the tank at the back end of the innings.

“It was a facet of the game that we looked to target in terms of playing Shamo out and be there at the end.

“It worked out in this game.”

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