MI Cape Town captain Rashid Khan has asked his teammates to play smart cricket and not take pressure in the upcoming two two matches after his side lost to Durban Super Giants by five wickets in a last-over thriller as action returned in SA20 after a week's break.
In the run chase of 166, Durban Super Giants had to work hard in the second half of their innings but they managed to win the game on the penultimate delivery of the match on Thursday night.
Put in to bat first, MI Cape Town posted 165 for 5 in 20 overs, thanks to Rassie van der Dussen (43), debutant Tim David (33) and Delano Potgieter (32 not out), who played brilliant cameos.
Playing his first game for MICT, David showcased his big-hitting prowess and even proved his wicket-taking ability. While van der Dussen kept proving his importance in the middle overs with yet another crucial knock, although it went in vain.
However, it was the unbeaten 50-run stand for the sixth wicket between Odean Smith (17 not out) and Potgieter (32 not out) in the end overs, which gave MICT some impetus towards the innings break.
MICT bowlers Kagiso Rabada (3/22), Duan Jansen (1/28) and Tim David (1/15) kept the run chase in control with the ball. Using his vast experience, Rabada picked up three important wickets in his second spell during the death overs to bring MICT back into the game.
His exploits ensured MICT bowlers gave a tough fight till the end. Captain Rashid rotated his bowlers brilliantly and proved why this bowling attack is a potent one in the competition as the MICT bowlers kept squeezing Super Giants in the slog overs.
While speaking at the post-match presentation, the Afghanistan cricketer claimed his team's only objective is to win the last two games and remain in play-off contention.
"We fought back well towards the end. We now have to win our last two games. Every game is a knockout and a must-win if we have to be in the top four.
We need to play smart cricket and don't have to put pressure on ourselves. (We need to) Just take it one game at a time and give our 100 per cent," the MICT skipper Rashid said.
Speaking during the post-match press conference, Rassie supported the captain's comments and said the team will look to win the next two games and hope for the best.
"We just haven't found a way to put consistently good performances together. But we've got to win the remaining games and hope that some results go our way as I am not sure what the equation is.
We've got some superstars in our line-up but we haven't been able to fire together," the right-handed batter said.