In the third match of the ongoing SA20 League 2023, Pretoria Capitals defeated Sunrisers Easters Cape by 23 runs at St George’s Park in Gqeberha on Friday.
Put to bat first, the Capitals had a terrible start as they lost five wickets for just 80 at the halfway stage. However, Phil Salt held his end and bailed out the Capitals from hot waters. The England cricketer formed a crucial 77 runs partnership with all-rounder James Neesham for the sixth wicket.
The duo took the team’s total to 157 in 18 overs before Ottniel Baartman broke the stand by dismissing Neesham for 37. But Salt kept founding boundaries and steered Capitals to a mammoth total of 193/6 in 20 overs. The English opener carried his bat throughout the innings, smashing an unbeaten 77 from just 47 deliveries with the help of 11 boundaries.
In response, the Eastern Cape only managed to reach 170/5, losing the contest by 23 runs. Opener JJ Smuts top-scored for his side with a 51-ball, 66-run knock but didn’t get enough support from the rest of the batting department.
With an unbeaten 40, Tom Abell chipped in with some valuable contributions down the order, but it wasn’t enough to take the Eastern Cape over the finish line. For the Capitals, pacer Anrich Nortje shined with the ball, picking two wickets for 18 runs in his quota of 4 overs, including a maiden.
“We got our lengths right in the second innings with a couple of X-factor bowlers in our side. I had to do what the conditions dictated with the bat. The atmosphere was tremendous. Was a bit nervous, but good to be back and playing cricket again,” said Salt after bagging Player of the Match.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Starting the #SA20 with a bang 💙
— Pretoria Capitals (@PretoriaCapsSA) January 12, 2023
— Betway SA20 (@SA20_League) January 12, 2023
— Sunrisers Eastern Cape (@SunrisersEC) January 12, 2023
Will Jacks, Phil Salt & Rilee Rossouw…
You will rarely find a better top three in a T20 lineup. Intent monsters!!! 🔥🔥🔥#SA20
— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) January 12, 2023
Nortje almost knocking Phil Salt off his feet with 95mph rocket might be my favourite dot ball of the SA20 so far
— Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) January 12, 2023
Phil Salt MasterClass!
Always intriguing to me when an opener carries their bat in a T20 especially ending with a SR of 164 and he also had the rain to contend with.
Brilliant game awareness with minimal risk.
77 (47)* – 11 fours 0 sixes. 👏#SA20
— Nikhil Uttamchandani (@NikUttam) January 12, 2023
Phil Salt is not a first choice English opener.
Look at the batting man….Eng cricket is booming.
— Mr. A🏏 (@cricdrugs) January 12, 2023
Phil Salt & Will Jacks vs. Marco Jansen is a battle you shall not miss!
A proper 🔥 vs. 🔥 battle & I'd say that Marco has the upper hand if he looks to attack the stumps or just shapes the ball away.#SA20
— Jeet Vachharajani🏏 (@Jeetv27) January 12, 2023
Capitals won by 23 runs. Brilliant performance by Phil Salt ‘ Wayne parnelland Nortje.#sa20
— Muaz Rana (@MuazRana05) January 12, 2023
PC once were struggling lmao still they managed to score 193 all hail Phil Salt 🔥
— Shubh (@cric_shub41) January 12, 2023
Excellent innings by Phil Salt. Top contribution from Jimmy Neesham and a bludgeoning end by Wayne Parnell.
— Riaz 🇿🇦🇵🇸🔰 (@RiazHamed2) January 12, 2023