Prior to this innings, Riley Rossouw had a highest score of only 11 in Twenty20 games. The Under-19 player opened the innings for Eagles today and his half-century almost single-handedly took them past the finish line.
Chasing 120 on a slow pitch, it was essential that the Eagles got off to a good start. He strode out and gave the impression that he was batting on a different surface, crashing his second delivery past square leg for four and then smashing the same bowler, Luke Wright, over mid-off. Michael Yardy bowled four different bowlers in the first four overs to try and mix things up but it didn't work. They tried varying their pace to try and keep the batsmen in check but to no avail.
Rossouw targeted the on side boundary for the bulk of his runs. Against the gentle medium pace of Dwayne Smith, he cleared his front leg and smashed one over his head. Against James Kirtley, he got on his knee and swung him over wide long-on, before giving Arafat the same treatment after chipping down the track. Rossouw couldn't have picked a better occasion to score his maiden Twenty20 fifty. Prior to this game, he had a highest score of just 11.
He was lucky to be let off twice. When on 37, the keeper failed to collect the ball after the batsman was already a couple of yards down the pitch; shortly after reaching his fifty, he survived a run out after being sent back. He holed out to a top edge in the 19th over just when the tension built up.