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It’s a top of the table clash between the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Cate Town Blitz in the Mzansi Super League. Both the sides have been the best performers of the league so far having lost just one match each.
Cape Town Blitz was the early pace setter of the tournament but lost its last match to Paarl Rocks. The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, on the other hand, was lucky to escape with a win in a rain-shortened match against the Tshwane Spartans. It was a match where everything seemed to be stacked against the Giants but they showed solid nerves to come out on top.
This encounter between the two of them will showcase who is top of the pile at the moment.
There have been some recognizable stand-out performers for the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in the initial week or so of the tournament. The skipper Smuts and opener Marais have been among them while Ben Duckett and Christiaan Jonker have been good down the order as well.
Among the bowlers, Chris Morris, Junior Dala, and Imran Tahir form the core of a strong bowling attack. This is a side that is built on solid T20 performers who have shown the ability to go toe to toe with the best South African international players.
Going into this match against Cape Town Blitz, the onus will be on the bowling attack to stop the impressive array of batsmen in the opposition. Starting with spin was something that Paarl Rocks did successfully against Cape Town Blitz and we may see the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants follow suit.
Imran Tahir is not one of the bowlers who like bowling with the new ball, even though he might come in later during the power play. It is likely to be one of the part-timers who roll their arm over and try to buy the wicket of Quinton de Kock.
Chris Morris and Junior Dala have been very good with the ball in this tournament. Morris has bowled with pace, accuracy, and delivered some searing yorkers at the death. He is back to his best after a prolonged bout of injuries and that is the best news for South Africa with the ICC World Cup 2019 just a few months away.
While stopping the runs from Cape Town Blitz is going to be important, The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants should be ready to chase down a big total as well. This is where their top-3 comes in/ Smuts, Marais, and Duckett have been brilliant in the tournament so far.
They have ensured that the side gets off to a quick start and does not fall behind the asking rate while chasing. The top-order has to contend with an in-form Dale Steyn, though, and that is not going to be an easy job.
Starting lineup not yet available.
One of the most star-studded of all the teams in the Mzansi Super League, Cape Town Blitz finally suffered its first loss of the season. It was an error-filled performance but one where the Blitz had several chances to make a comeback.
Quinton de Kock started off like an absolute madman hitting three sixes and two fours in the sixteen deliveries he faced. He was out to spin, once again, and that is something the upcoming sides will use more frequently against him.
It will be interesting to see the battle between de Kock and Imran Tahir if it comes to pass.
Quinton de Kock is showing signs of hitting top-form and we believe he is next to unstoppable when at his best. Backing him to score runs once again might be a good insurance policy.
Janneman Malan, Asif Ali, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Farhaan Behardien make a very impressive batting lineup. Malan is the current top-scorer of the tournament while Asif Ali has already played an astonishing match winning inning.
Andile Phehlukwayo has been consistently coming in at three to try and up the ante but we are not sure of that tactic. T20 is not a game where there is enough time to keep pushing your best batsmen down. If anything, we would like to see Asif Ali or Farhaan Behardien come in at three to try and dictate the pace of the game.
This brings us to the bowling options in front of Cape Town Blitz. Steyn, Adams, Piedt, Siboto, and Linde form a very potent bowling attack. For us, the bowlers to watch out for are Dale Steyn and Ferisco Adams.
Dale Steyn bowls in the powerplay when the batsmen go hard and so there is a good chance of taking wickets. He also comes back and bowls at the death, another excellent wicket-taking opportunity.
Adams is the designated go-to bowler whenever the scoring rate starts to rise and so he remains in the thick of things as well.
Starting lineup not yet available.
The side winning the toss is likely to field first with rain expected
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Some rain has been forecast for Port Elizabeth and so we may see a truncated game being played out. The pitch at Port Elizabeth is going to be freshened up by the moisture around and could favor the bowlers.
We may well have a bowlers night with some seam and swing on offer.
The match becomes a bit of a lottery if the rain comes into play but we cannot really take that into account. As the teams stack up at the moment, we think the Cape Town Blitz has the better chance of coming up victorious.
Back the Cape Town Blitz to win.
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