MI Cape Town skipper Rashid Khan on Saturday halied his side's brilliant all-round win over Paarl Royals in the ongoing SA20, here. MI Cape Town put up a clinical show with the ball and defeated Paarl Royals by 13 runs and returned to winning ways in some style.
After being invited to bat first, MICT didn't have the best of starts. But performances from Grant Roelofsen (34), Rassie van der Dussen (49) and a cameo from George Linde (24 off 14) in the middle overs ensured the visitors had a strong total to defend.
Rising to the occasion, MICT bowlers put up a sensational effort and restricted Paarl Royals to 129/6. It was the first win for the team while defending a target and will give a lot of confidence to the team going forward.
In-form George Linde (2/23) and Kagiso Rabada (2/27) once again put up a dominant bowling effort and pushed Royals on the back foot early on. Jofra Archer (1/31) and captain Rashid -- who was at his best -- returned with superb figures of 1 for 16.
He choked the flow of runs for the opposition in the middle overs and now has 497 T20 wickets. Reacting over his team's impressive all-round effort, captain Rashid lauded the character shown by his teammates.
Hailing the performance of Rassie, the captain claimed they'll be crucial for the team's success going forward. "We had to keep things simple. I thought 140+ was a good score. I knew that it'd be tough to score. It was a brilliant all-round effort.
The way he (Rassie) played, you need such innings. His role in the team is very important. He'll be crucial in this tournament," Rashid said at the post-match presentation, Praising Linde -- who has been performing consistently from the start -- the captain said all-rounders like him make the captain's job easy.
"He (Linde) is performing from the first game. He can bowl in the powerplay, outside the powerplay and that makes my job easier," he said. The Afghanistan cricketer further stated that this win will boost the team's confidence, and give the bowlers the belief to defend any total.
"We need to keep improving and move forward. We have to believe in our skills. With the bowling unit we have, we feel like we can defend any total. We'll keep learning and take the positives.
This was a crucial win for us," Rashid said. Meanwhile, the team's highest scorer in the game Rassie van der Dussen, seemed satisfied with his contribution which resulted in a winning cause and even thanked the captain and coaching staff for showing faith in him.
"The game today provided me with a nice opportunity to bat and get myself in on the pitch which wasn't easy. I was always thinking that a score of 140 would be a good total to defend here.
Glad that I could repay the faith of captain and coaching staff in me and hopefully we carry this momentum forward," the South Africa cricketer said at the post-match press conference.
Asked about the lessons he and others in the team get from someone like Hashim Alma -- who is a legend of the game himself -- the right-handed batter said the former brings a calming influence.
"Hashim has been great. To have him in the dressing room and when he throws the ball at you in the nets. You don't expect a legend of the game like him to do that. But it's just great to pick up his brains as a coach is simply great.
He's so calm and clear about what he wants from us. He's very positive in his feedback," Van der Dussen said. "He brings a calming effect inside the dressing room. Everybody ensures that the atmosphere and mood in the change room are light and positive," he added.