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At SA20, Dewald Brevis shines on opening night

MI Cape Town got off to a winning start in the SA20 2023 tournament against Paarl Royals thanks to Dewald Brevis’ stellar performance with an unbeaten 41-ball 70.

Brevis killed the chase with a blistering start and a 90-run opening stand to script a comfortable eight-wicket win and also secure a bonus point after restricting Royals to a modest 142/7 despite Jos Buttler’s half-century and captain David Miller’s 42.

After MI asked them to bat first, Jofra Archer struck in his first over, the Royals’ third strike of the innings. However, Buttler and fellow Englishman Jason Roy led the recovery with a 36-run partnership. Royals were down to 56/3 in the tenth over after a couple of quick strikes again before Buttler and Miller joined hands.

In 6.1 overs, the pair scored 48 runs for the fifth wicket to lift their team past the 100-run mark. However, the opener was salvaged after Olly Stone missed a scoop shot on a full toss shortly after scoring his 50th century.

Miller and Eoin Morgan attempted to raise the ante by scoring sixes off Sam Curran in the 18th over, but Archer returned in the 19th to pick up consecutive wickets and put the Royals back on the back foot once more.

Morgan was run out on the final pitch as he tried to score an extra run. The Royals scored 142 on a pitch that didn’t look particularly good for making shots.

In his 41-ball performance, Brevis shattered that notion with five sixes and four more boundaries. In the third over, Brevis’s opening partner, Ryan Rickelton, introduced Ramon Simmonds into the attack with a hat trick of boundaries to get the runs flowing.

In the final powerplay round, Brevis joined the party and defeated Codi Yusuf with a six and a four in a massive 16-run round. Following Brevis’ similar treatment of Tabraiz Shamsi, MI reached 72 without loss after nine overs.

When Simmonds came back after the timeout, Rickelton hit him for six, but he responded with a perfect yorker to end the opener’s bid for a half-century eight short.

However, Brevis continued the offensive, scoring sixes in each of the subsequent three overs to keep MI in the hunt for that bonus point. In the 14th over, Sam Curran contributed with a 20-ball cameo that included a four and a six off Simmons before Yusuf caught him at the ropes.

Brevis, undeterred, turned it into yet another huge over for MI, scoring 6, 4, and 4 consecutive balls to almost end the chase.

Brief ratings: Parl Royals won by 142 runs in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 51, David Miller 42; Jofra Archer (3-27) was defeated by MI Cape Town (Dewald Brevis, 70*, Ryan Rickelton, 42; by eight wickets (Ramon Simmons 1-32).

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