Batting makes Paarl Royals worthy competitors
The inaugural edition of South Africa’s much anticipated Twenty20 league SA20 is all set to kick off on January 10 with a clash between MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals at Newlands. Six teams will compete in a double round-robin format in the group stage, with top four teams reaching the semifinals. The final will take place at Johannesburg on February 11.
SA20 is expected to be a catalyst for Cricket’s growth and popularity in the country. Interestingly, the six teams, namely MI Cape Town, Paarl Royals, Johannesburg Super Kings, Durban Super Giants, Pretoria Capitals, and Sunrisers Eastern Cape, were bought by the owners of Indian Premier League franchises. Tristan Stubbs became the biggest buy in the league, going to Sunrisers Eastern Cape for Rand 9.2 million.
Looking at the squads each team has assembled, let’s take a look at who pre-tournament favourites are and the betting odds for the SA20 2023.
SA20 2023 favourites
MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals are the favorites for the SA20 title at 4.00 both.
|MI Cape Town||4.00|
We think Durban Super Giants and Pretoria Capitals can challenge for the title as tables might turn in the knockouts… Both teams’ chances of winning stand at 5.00.
|Durban Super Giants||5.00|
Durban Super Giants
The presence of multiple all-round options gives Durban Super Giants immense balance. International stars Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers aside, Durban has Dwaine Pretorius, Wiaan Mulder and Simon Harmer to add to their star-studded all-rounders list.
Good local South African talent gives Pretoria Capitals a definite edge over some of the competitors. Combined with quality T20 cricketers who make an early impact be it with bat or ball – like Josh Little, Will Jacks and Phil Salt – the Capitals are a strong unit that can blow teams away in the first 10 overs, a strength for any T20 side.
How do the teams stack up?
MI Cape Town stand out in team construction
Five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians-owned MI Cape Town have built a strong side for the inaugural season. They have acquired the services of Dewald Brevis, Rassie van der Dussen, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada and Rashid Khan. Add to that Jofra Archer, who will play the first two games for the team.
Rashid Khan will lead the side which also has quality domestic players such as Ryan Rickelton, George Linde and Duan Jansen. It’s a side that covers most bases. The betting markets have MI Cape Town as joint favourites to win the tournament with the odds of 4.00
Paarl Royals have a championship winning squad
When all the eyes were on teams of IPL powerhouses MI and Super Kings, Paarl Royals have quietly built a very strong side. The likes of Jos Buttler, David Miller, Jason Roy, Dane Vilas and Corbin Bosch form a formidable batting unit. In the bowling department, Paarl will rely on Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi and Obed McCoy to deliver.
Although their bowling unit isn’t as strong as MICT, Paarl Royals have the same odds of 4.00 to win the inaugural SA20 edition.
Johannesburg Super Kings have decent batting firepower, but lack quality in bowling
Led by Faf du Plessis, Johannesburg Super Kings have a good batting line-up with Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Louis De Ploy and Donovan Ferreira. However, their bowling resources lack experience and quality barring Maheesh Theekshana.
Johannesburg Super Kings have the odds of 7.00 to win the competition.
Players to keep an eye on…
Jos Buttler is part of a tournament and isn’t amongst the players to watch out for, that would be ridiculous. The England captain should be available for the first two weeks before England plays South Africa in three ODIs from January 27. Buttler has an outstanding record as an opener in T20 cricket, amassing over 4600 runs at an average of around 45 while striking at 150.
Dewald Brevis is one of the most promising young batters in the world and will be one to watch out for. He’s set to bat in the top order for MI Cape Town and should enjoy the freedom. Brevis has scored 820 runs in his short T20 career so far, averaging 27 at a strike rate of 151.
Anrich Nortje, one of the fastest bowlers in the world, will be a potent threat on his home soil. The Pretoria Capitals speedster should be able to make a good impact in SA20. Nortje has taken 109 wickets from 84 matches at an economy of 7.45.
SA20 League Match Predictions
MI Cape Town v Paarl Royals
MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals go head-to-head in a high-profile clash at the start of the tournament. With their superior set of overseas talent, we recommend backing MI Cape Town to win at 1.88.
Durban Super Giants v Joburg Super Kings
Jo’burg Super Kings might come a bit short on bowling quality and it could cost them the game against Durban Super Giants. While Super Kings are favourites to win, our punt is on Durban, who have odds of 2.21 to win the match.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape v Pretoria Capitals
Pretoria Capitals will head into their clash against Sunrisers Eastern Cape as the favourites. Capitals’ odds stand at 1.67and with their strong bowling attack, they should win this one.