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|PJ van Biljon||8||8||1||0||100.00|
|Rassie van der Dussen||83||55||6||4||150.91|
|Faf du Plessis||61||34||7||2||179.41|
The Jozi Stars moved to second on the Mzansi Super League standings thanks to a truly incredible win against Durban Heat. With five wins from their 8 matches, the Jozi Stars have all but locked up their place in the playoffs of the inaugural edition of the MSL.
They will be playing against Paarl Rocks in this game, a side that has hit poor form at just the worst time possible. Paarl Rocks have lost 5 out of its 8 matches and will need an incredible amount of luck plus at least one bonus point victory to be able to sneak into the playoffs.
Still, there is everything to play for as the MSL group stages come to an end.
The Jozi Stars played Durban Heat in front of the latter’s home ground and started quite well. They picked up some quick wickets to peg Durban Heat back and were able to stop the run rate from getting out of hand at any time. Sam Erwee played a lone hand with 62 from Durban Heat as everyone else struggled to score on a difficult pitch.
A stellar bowling lineup led by Kagiso Rabada had once more done the job. Rabada himself took three wickets in this match, while Duanne Olivier, Dan Christian, and Simon Harmer all took two wickets each.
Dwayne Pretorius also bowled his full quota of overs to reinforce the depth in this bowling setup.
The Jozi Stars were chasing just 128 but things did not go well for them with the bat. The side’s most consistent batsman and the leading run scorer of the Mzansi Super League, Reeza Hendricks, got out cheaply, Chris Gayle could not get going, and eventually, the side was reduced to 58 for 6.
Dane Vilas was the only recognized batsman to score some runs and keep the inning together. What followed towards the end of the inning was absolute carnage. Simon Harmer had departed after playing a couple of good shots and it was Pongolo facing Merchant de Lange needing 12 runs of two deliveries.
He smashed two sixes in a row and stunned the home crowd into absolute silence.
This win from the Jozi Stars was not convincing but it came even when most of their batsmen failed to score. It shows the depth the side has and the advantage of having winning momentum.
They will definitely want to continue in the same vein against Paarl Rocks as well.
Chris Gayle, Reeza Hendricks, RVD Dussen, DJ Vilas, PJ van Biljon, DT Christian, SR Harmer, Dwaine Pretorius, Nono Pongolo, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier.
Paarl Rocks suffered a massive loss against Cape Town Blitz in the last match. They were outplayed in every facet of the game and would have gone back very disappointed. That loss means that Paarl Rocks will have to depend on the largesse of other teams to get into the playoffs and even that is quite a slim chance, to be honest.
The problem with Paarl Rocks has been the side’s dependence on Aiden Markram and Faf du Plessis during the batting. Even in the last loss, Faf du Plessis top-scored with 61 and looked in sublime touch but no one else contributed.
Cameron Delport, van Jaarsveld, and Dwayne Bravo got a start but no one was able to play a significant role to help du Plessis out.
As a result, Paarl Rocks was able to only put together a par total that its bowlers were not able to defend. The fact that they came across a rampaging Quinton de Kock can be seen as a stroke of bad luck, though, because there is no bowling attack in the world that can stop him when he is in such form.
The poor form of Paarl Rocks bowlers will be a concern going into this match. Their opponents, the Jozi Stars, have a very strong batting lineup. Dwayne Bravo stood out with excellent figures of 2 wickets for 18 runs in his four overs in the last match and will need to play a central role in these last couple of matches for Paarl Rocks as well.
If Tabraiz Shamsi can be at his best then Paarl Rocks have a couple of quality bowlers to depend on especially considering the amount of help the pitches have been offering to the spinners.
Paarl Rocks will need all of its players to really stand up and give their best in this match. Morale in the side will be low after the loss in the last match but Faf du Plessis should be able to get his troops to rally.
C Delport, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Mangaliso Mosehle, Dwayne Bravo, Patrick Kruger, D Wiese, GM Thomson, Dane Paterson, Kerwin Mungroo, Tabraiz Shamsi.
The side winning the toss is likely to field first
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There is a lot of rain around in Johannesburg and that should be troubling for both the teams. Paarl Rocks cannot afford a rained out game in any situation while a shortened match makes things unpredictable for Jozi Stars.
The pitch will have something in it for the bowlers. The spinners have been getting some help on all the grounds so that should continue as well.
The Jozi Stars are on a roll in the Mzansi Super League and it will be difficult to stop them. They have managed to win even when all of their leading batters had a poor day, something which should scare the opposition.
With all aspects of the side firing, we think they should be able to win against Paarl Rocks, although the latter has some very good players too.
Back the Jozi Stars to win.
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