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|Rassie van der Dussen||96||44||6||6||218.18|
|Shaun von Berg||4.0||0||42||0||10.50|
|Shaun von Berg||5||3||1||0||166.67|
|AB de Villiers||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Tony de Zorzi||33||26||2||1||126.92|
The last few group matches of the inaugural Mzansi Super League are about to be played out and the Tshwane Spartans still have some hope of making it to the knockouts. As things stand, Cape Town Blitz is assured of a place in the final where it will await the winner of the match between the Jozi Stars and one more team.
That team could be one of the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, Paarl Rocks, or the Tshwane Spartans.
To reach that stage, Tshwane Spartans has to win both of its remaining matches, the first of which is up against the Jozi Stars.
Cape Town Blitz was notably down on energy in its last league match because it did not hold much meaning regardless of the outcome. The Jozi Stars are also in the same situation and so it will be interesting to see if they make that same mistake as well.
One of the setbacks to the Jozi Stars has been the news that Chris Gayle will be flying home after his mother’s demise. It is always unfortunate to lose a player like Gayle especially due to such unfortunate non-cricket related reasons.
Jozi Stars will be playing their last league match of the Mzansi Super League and hope to sign off with a win before they play the Eliminator. They lost their last match against Paarl Rocks and are going to be up against a highly motivated Tshwane Spartans side.
5 wins from 9 matches is not great but enough to put the Jozi Stars on second in the MSL league table. This suggests that most sides are closely matched and capable of beating each other.
The main reason for the success of the Jozi Stars has been the brilliant form of its top-order. Reeza Hendricks and van der Dussen have set the tournament alight with their strokeplay and consistency. Now that Gayle is not going to be available anymore, we are likely to see Hendricks and van der Dussen open the batting again.
With 359 runs for Hendricks and 319 for van der Dussen, the two Jozi Stars batsmen sit at 2nd and 3rd on the list for the highest run scorers in the Mzansi Super League. If either of these two players has another good game then the Tshwane Spartans could be chasing leather all night.
With multiple other hitters like Dan Christian, Dane Vilas, and van Biljon in the side, the Jozi Stars are not dependent on any one player and dangerous even after a few initial setbacks. Their bowling side comprises of Rabada, Olivier, Harmer, Pretorius, Christian, and Pongolo making the side a very potent threat in all departments of the game.
Reeza Hendricks, Ryan Rickelton, RVD Dussen, DJ Vilas, PJ van Biljon, DT Christian, SR Harmer, B Hendricks, Duanne Olivier, Nono Pongolo, Kagiso Rabada.
The Tshwane Spartans have been stringing along victories without actually playing to their best so far. A couple of cameos from their lower order batsmen, a few good bowling performances, and some electric fielding has allowed the Spartans to keep their head above water for now.
The Tshwane Spartans have been in a must-win situation for the last few matches now so the pressure is nothing new for them. They must win these two matches and hopefully pick up a bonus point along the way for them to be able to qualify.
Runs from Cloete helped them post a good total in the last match. He scored 65 from 59 balls, not the best strike rate for a T20 game but useful none the less. Faster cameos from Elgar, de Villiers, and Morgan helped boost the score of the team along before the bowlers came in did just what was expected of them.
It was a good victory but we cannot help feel that AB de Villiers is about to stamp his authority on the tournament. A gun player like AB de Villiers is not going to be satisfied with scoring thirties. The good thing was that he seemed to have regained some lost touch in this match and that could pay dividends in the upcoming match.
The addition of Morgan to the middle order has added some depth and provided a cushion to the Tshwane Spartans batting. Their top-order must bat aggressively and fearlessly because their main strength lies in the middle. Even if the top-order gets out, the Tshwane Spartans will have its best batters at the crease.
Jeevan Mendis is the highest wicket taker of the tournament with 16 scalps to his name and has been a real revelation. His control and ability to pick wickets makes him a priceless asset to the side. Von Berg took three wickets in the last match while Birch took two as well.
The Tshwane Spartans have a weak bowling attack and are up against one of the better batting sides in the MSL. They will have their work cut out for them in this contest for sure.
Andrea Agathangelou, Gihahn Cloete, Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, Eoin Morgan, Tony de Zorzi, Robbie Frylinck, BMAJ Mendis, Shaun von Berg, Corbin Bosch, Lutho Sipamla.
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.
After a lot of rain having fallen in the area, the weather forecast for this MSL match in Johannesburg is absolutely brilliant. A minimal chance of showers is predicted and so we should have a full uninterrupted contest for this crucial encounter.
The pitch in Johannesburg has been excellent for batting throughout the tournament. The bowlers can also extract some movement if there is some moisture around but dry weather could make this a very high scoring contest.
We think the Tshwane Spartans have the batsmen to pull off another upset. On paper, they seem to be outgunned in the bowling department but the presence of Ab de Villiers and Eoin Morgan makes them very dangerous.
Back the Tshwane Spartans to win.
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