The SA20 was successfully launched on Tuesday night at Newlands and only the mean-spirited would not have been thrilled by the sight of two young South African batters, Dewald Brevis and Ryan Rickelton, leading MI Cape Town to an emphatic victory over the Paarl Royals.
READ MORE: Dewald Brevis blasts MI Cape Town to victory as SA20 off to cracking start
The 19-year-old Brevis and the 26-year-old Rickelton put on 90 for the first wicket off just 65 balls in a superb display of strokeplay that suggests South Africa’s upcoming batting stocks are just fine in terms of talent.
Rickelton just continues to expose the folly of Cricket South Africa’s decision not to send him to Australia because of an ankle injury that their medical officials say is about to render the left-hander unable to play; the Johannesburg-based star has responded by reeling off 734 runs in his last dozen innings across formats at an average of 73.40, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Brevis initially played second-fiddle to his more senior partner, but he then launched a vicious onslaught that saw him finish with 70 not out off just 41 deliveries, including five sixes. He smashed his last 48 runs off just 21 balls.
For someone so young, Brevis is extraordinarily purposeful at the crease and the big stage is clearly where he belongs. Opening night of the biggest show in town is clearly where he felt he belonged and there was no hint of him being overawed or lacking experience, which was the case with some of the other uncapped South African players on display.
He is determined to back his own game, but is also starting to learn when to pull back and be more patient.
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The man Brevis modelled his game on, AB de Villiers, was effusive in his praise of the young man on television commentary, and he then tweeted “@BrevisDewald is pretty special I have u know.”
Proteas bowling great Dale Steyn said simply “Brevis MUST go to this year’s World Cup” on social media.
While Brevis was disappointing for the Northerns Titans in 50-over cricket this season, scoring just 147 runs in six innings, hopefully the national selectors do have a plan in place to make the most of this prodigious talent.
READ MORE: Archer, Brevis on song as MI Cape Town down Paarl Royals in SA20 opener