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|Rassie van der Dussen||19||22||1||0||86.36|
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants had to endure a rained out match against Capt Town Blitz but followed that up with a convincing win against Paarl Rocks. They now face up to the Jozi Stars, a side that will be very confident after a stunning victory in its last match.
This is the second match between the two sides, the first of which was won by the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants with relative ease.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants will move to the top spot of the Mzansi Super League if they can win this game while the Jozi Stars could be breathing down the neck of the top-2 teams with a win in this match as well. There is everything to play for in the match between two in-form sides.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants continued to profit from the form of its top order in the last match as well. JT Smuts, Marais, and Duckett all got starts although they were not able to convert that score into something more substantial.
Heino Kuhn, though, scored 54 and Christiaan Jonker 23 to ensure that the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants finished with a good total. The side lacked the explosive finish at the end that it would have liked to see even though Chris Morris got off one or two big hits.
That is a small worry to have considering that every single batsman in the side is now in good form and making runs.
The match against Jozi Stars could be a lot more challenging for the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and we think its batsmen have to take more responsibility. The likes of Marais and Duckett need to take a leaf out of the book of Smuts and learn to convert more of their starts into big innings.
It would be interesting to see if the side would consider sending Morris or Second up the order to have a go if they are chasing a big total. It sometimes appears as if the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants are not utilizing the talents of their big hitters to the max.
The bowling effort from the Giants was exceptional. The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants have the best bowling attack in the MSL at the moment. Chris Morris is bowling with pace, accuracy, and is able to pull out the yorker as and when he wants.
With bowlers like Junior Dala, Imran Tahir, and Aaron Phangiso in the side, the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants have four international quality bowlers in its starting lineup. Even Smuts and Magala, the other two bowlers used in the last match took three wickets each.
Marco Marais, JJT Smuts, Ben Duckett, Heino Kuhn, Christiaan Jonker, RS Second, Chris Morris, SSB Magala, Aaron Phangiso, Junior Dala, Imran Tahir.
The top order of the Jozi Stars was a problem for the first few matches but the return of Reeza Hendricks promised to solve that issue. His brutal century in the last match showed why he is now a first choice opener for the South African national side and why the world is going to take notice of him soon.
Hendricks plundered 104 runs off just 51 deliveries against an attack that included three South African international bowlers. He was helped by cameos from Rickelton, van der Dussen, and Christian to help boost the total to 230 but it was Hendricks who was the central figure.
The skipper Dane Vilas, a very capable batsman himself, did not get a chance to bat at all showing just how deep this Jozi Stars batting lineup is.
Of course, the Jozi Stars are going to have a tougher time against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants because the quality of bowling they are going to face is superior. The Stars also must be wary of losing Hendricks early and then struggling to put a decent total on the board.
An all-out attack strategy like the one that the Jozi Stars adopted in the last match is not going to come off every time.
One of the remarkable things about the Mzansi Super League that distinguishes it from other leagues is the quality of domestic talent. South Africa has a very deep talent pool to choose from and this means that a lot of the sides have a good bowling attack. This is almost never the case in other T20 leagues.
The Jozi Stars have Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Oliver, Daniel Christian, Simon Harmer, and Dwyane Pretorius as a part of their starting eleven. This bowling attack is good enough to play international cricket and get the better of a few international sides as well.
Rabada picked up 4 wickets in the last match, Christian has been very good in the middle overs, and Pretorius has shown the ability to fox the batsmen with some changeups as well. The Jozi Stars are a very well rounded team now that their batting has started to fire.
Ryan Rickelton, Reeza Hendricks, RVD Dussen, DJ Vilas, DT Christian, PJ van Biljon, SR Harmer, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, B Hendricks, Eddie Leie.
The side winning the toss is expected to bat first
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Port Elizabeth is expected to be nice and sunny on match day so we should hopefully have an uninterrupted game. The pitch at Port Elizabeth has been pretty fair towards both the batsmen and the bowlers. There is some amount of help in the surface but a nice sunny day could shift things in favor of the batsmen.
We expect a score of around 170 to be par.
The Jozi Stars come into this match with an impressive win but we are still not too certain about their batting. They are up against one of the better bowling attacks of the tournament and could struggle to replicate their batting effort from the last match.
Back the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants to win.
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