Photo Credit: SA20 League
The value of having senior high-quality overseas professionals competing in the Betway SA20 cannot be overstated.
And it skyrocketed even further at a booming Bullring on Saturday evening.
The Joburg Super Kings were on a three-game losing streak and were desperate to turn around their fortunes.
The game was firmly in the balance when Donovan Ferreira walked to the crease with JSK requiring 74 off 46 balls for victory.
It was no easy task especially with Ferreira having endured a disappointing start to Season 2 with three consecutive failures.
But fortunately for Ferreira, the other batter at the crease for JSK was the experienced Moeen Ali.
The England 50-overs and T20 World Cup winner is a renowned finisher and has been in this very same situation countless times during his celebrated career.
And it was here that Moeen’s vast experience shone through as he guided the young Protea through this pressure period.
Ferreira responded with the fastest ever SA20 half-century and ultimately finished on 56 not out to power JSK to their first victory of the new season.
“Batting out there with Mo, that was great. Mo is so calm, and he just said to me we both need to be here at the end then we are going to win this game,” Ferreira said.
“And I then just took charge. Him being the senior batter, I didn’t want him to have all the pressure on him. I just felt it was my night tonight, so I have to do it.”
Ferreira also praised the JSK leadership team of captain Faf du Plessis and coach Stephen Fleming for holding the team together during the difficult period.
“We stuck together as a team. We did a lot of things together, because as soon as you start pulling away, that’s when things unravel,” he said.
“Coming to the ground today though I just felt there was something different. I could feel the positivity, the energy. That is really special after three losses. That’s what Faf and Flem keep emphasising about staying calm. It’s such a relief!”
Ferreira also wanted to pay tribute to the JSK faithful that had filled the Bullring for the “Big City” derby against the Pretoria Capitals on Saturday evening despite the home team’s lean run leading up to the clash.
“When you are out there batting in those situations, you are in the zone. When you are on the other side, you feel the crowd, and get goosebumps,” he said.
“They were supporting us no matter what. We lost three games and the stadium was still full. Imagine how the tickets are going to sell now. We must just keep on now!”