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|PJ van Biljon||2||4||0||0||50.00|
|Rassie van der Dussen||23||19||1||1||121.05|
The second match of the Mzansi Super League features the Jozi Stars taking on the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. Some very recognizable names from the world of T20 cricket will be taking the field for the two teams in this match. Of course, a few of the stars from both sides will be missing as South Africa wraps ups its international commitments in Australia.
Getting off to a good start is going to be very important in this tournament because it is generally seen that the sides that are able to get a stable combination are the ones that end up competing for the title at the end of the tournament.
The Jozi Stars boast of perhaps the biggest name in T20 cricket, Chris Gayle, as their marquee player. It is something that will attract attention to their side from all over the world. Chris Gayle had a very good Afghanistan Premier League just recently and would undoubtedly want to leave his mark on the Mzansi Super League as well.
While Gayle is the international marquee player for the Jozi Stars, their South African marquee player is Kagiso Rabada. With South Africa still playing in Australia, Rabada will not be available for his side for the opening fixture.
The Stars also have the services of Dan Christian for this tournament. A very usefull all-rounder, Dan Christian has made a name for himself by being a part of multiple tournament winning sides in franchise cricket across the world. He can bat at any number, contribute with the ball consistently, and is very good in the field.
Even without the services of a few international players, the Jozi Stars have plenty of quality in their side. Duanne Oliver, Simon Harmer, and Eddie Leie are all bowlers that have plenty of experience and success to their name in domestic South African cricket.
Oliver and Harmer have played for South Africa as well which shows how good they are.
Similarly, Rassie van der Dussen, who could open the batting with Chris Gayle, is another local player that we would keep an eye on.
The Jozi Stars have a pretty balanced side that should start this tournament in a strong manner. They will also be playing at their home ground so will have the backing of the crown to boost them as well.
Chris Gayle, RVD Dussen, Ryan Rickelton, PJ van Biljon, DJ Vilas, DT Christian, Nono Pongolo, Calvin Savage, Duanne Olivier, Eddie Leie, B Hendricks.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants are one of the pre-tournament favorites just bases on the strength of the squad. Like the Jozi Stars, the Giants also have an international opening batsman as their marquee player and a South African bowler as his counterpart.
Like the Jozi Stars, Imran Tahir will miss the opening match of the Mzansi Super League because of his international commitments although Jason Roy should be at hand to help provide the side his invaluable experience.
Jason Roy is one of the most fearsome hitters of the T20 game. He made his name as dasher in this format before progressing to ODI cricket for England. Roy has also played in lagues around the world and found success.
We think that the flat South African wickets could really favor Jason Roy’s style of play.
Chris Morris, who is in the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants squad will also be missing this match but there is still a lot of quality in this squad.
The Giants have Junior Dala, Christiaan Jonker, Aaron Phangiso, Ryan McLaren, JJ Smuts, Heino Kuhn, and international Ben Duckett to call upon for this match.
Junior Dala bowled with a lot of pace against India earlier this year and impressed while Aaron Phangiso, Ryan McLaren, JJ Smuts, and Heino Kuhn all have international experience as well. Ben Duckett has fallen out of England’s radar at the moment because of his form and some off-field related activities so he would be very keen to use this tournament and get back into the scheme of things again.
Duckett could possibly bat at number three in this lineup behind Jason Roy and JJ Smuts.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants have put together an excellent squad. They have at least 8 players of proven quality to bank upon in this match even without the missing international South Africans. The only area in which they seem to be lacking a little is their fast bowling stocks.
They also would like to spread out their power hitters throughout the lineup to avoid being vulnerable at the top.
JJT Smuts, RS Second, Christiaan Jonker, Heino Kuhn, Marco Marais, Ben Duckett, Ryan McLaren, SSB Magala, Lizaad Williams, Aaron Phangiso, Junior Dala.
The side winning the toss is likely to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The weather forecast for Johannesburg is very good with very little chance of rain predicted. The pitch in Johannesburg is one of the best batting pitches in South Africa. There is excellent bounce, carry and pace in the surface to provide plenty of scoring opportunities to the batsmen.
We doubt there will be any grass left on the surface but the fast bowlers should be able to get some movement under lights. The ball flies in Johannesburg and plenty of sixes will be hit.
These are two strong batting lineups and we could see a total of around 200 being hit in this game.
Neither of the two sides is going to be at full strength for this game. This gives both teams to test out their bench strength and see which one of the local players is ready to step up to the next level. Overall, though, the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants seems to have the better-balanced side and more quality to bank upon.
The Giants have more hitting power on their side and some very experienced domestic campaigners to help lead the side.
Back the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants to win.
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