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|Shaun von Berg||4.0||0||19||3||4.75|
|AB de Villiers||33||26||4||0||126.92|
|Tony de Zorzi||2||1||0||0||200.00|
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants are going to be taking on the Tshwane Spartans as the group stage of the Mzansi Super League winds down. Tshwane Spartans are still alive in the tournament thanks to a nervy win over Paarl Rocks and now needs to continue its winning streak against one of the best sides of the tournament.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants are on second place in the MSL standings but know they are still vulnerable to chasing teams. They will want to win this match and put all doubt over their progression to the knockouts to rest.
There is everything to play for both teams and that is probably the best thing the organizers of the Mzansi Super League could have hoped for.
Rain forced an early stoppage to the last match that the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants played. That was against Durban Heat, a team that has only won one match in the MSL so far. The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants were in a decent position when the rain came down and so they will be pretty upset about having to share points.
During that short duration, though, the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants flexed their muscles and did what they have been during in the Mzansi League so far. Smuts got off to an excellent start and continued his good form. He was 62 not out when the rain came down. Jason Roy has joined the side for the final week of the MSL and has added more depth to an already strong batting order.
He scored 26 from 16 deliveries before getting out, Second also got a good start, and there was plenty left in the tank too. Ben Duckett, Christiaan Jonker, Heino Kuhn, and Ryan McLaren are all very capable batsmen.
Kuhn has been going through a rough phase but that does not mean he should be taken lightly.
This is the first choice batting order for the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and we expect them to stick with this lineup for the remainder of the tournament.
Imran Tahir has led the bowling attack from the front. As one of the best T20 bowlers in the world, there is always some extra pressure on Imran Tahir to perform and it looks like he thrives on it. With Junior Dala, le Roux, and Mgala also dong pretty well as bowlers, the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants have a balanced lineup.
If Ryan McLaren can fulfill his role as an all-rounder in both respects then the side starts to look very good indeed.
JJT Smuts, JJ Roy, Ben Duckett, Christiaan Jonker, Heino Kuhn, RS Second, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Imran Tahir, Lizaad Williams, SSB Magala.
A tightly fought victory against a strong Paarl Rocks side at Centurion will stand the Tshwane Spartans in good stead. It has kept them alive in the tournament and very much in the tournament.
They need a few results to go their way and pick up a binus point or two somewhere in the middle but nothing that is too impossible to occur. Tshwane Spartans have also been strengthened by the return of a few players to the Mzansi Super League but not as much as the others because most of their first choice players were available for the entire duration of the tournament.
The spark that eventually won them the last match was provided by Robbit Frylinck who bowled three tight overs and then played a very important cameo in the end to win the match for the side. The burly all-rounder has been very good for the side and is always ready to be counted when the pressure starts to grow.
Jeevan Mendis had a poor game in the last match but that should not detract from his performances in the MSL so far. He has been a consistent wicket taker and has bowled his leg-spin with remarkable control.
The Tshwane Spartans do not have the strongest bowling lineup and so Jeevan Mendis’s continued form will be of great importance to them.
To beat a side like the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, it appears that the Spartans will have to bat out of their skins. A difficult pitch made things difficult for all batsmen but there have been some glaring shortcopmings visible throughout the tournament.
Dean Elgar at the top has not been able to make the most of his opportunities even though he has played a couple of useful cameos. A big score from an opener can be expected after so many chances and so the Spartns must hope he is saving his best for the last.
Cloete has been good, AB de Villiers has fallen short of expectations, and Eoin Morgan has just joined the side. These are the players that will have to play the bulk of the overs and do the majority of the scoring.
Agathangelou played an aggressive cameo in the last match but he is not the player we want to see walk out at number three. AB needs to take the bull by the horns and leave his imprint on the Mzansi Super League’s inaugural edition.
Gihahn Cloete, Dean Elgar, Andrea Agathangelou, AB de Villiers, Eoin Morgan, Tony de Zorzi, Robbie Frylinck, Shaun von Berg, BMAJ Mendis, Andrew Birch, 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.
Some rain has been forecast for Port Elizabeth on the day of the match but that should clear by the time the match gets under way. We don’t think there is too much threat of the game being truncated. St. George’s Park has offered up some good batting pitches with a little something in it for the bowlers.
A score of around 170 shold be considered par.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants are the better team when looked at purely from a cricketing perspective. Our gut is telling us that an AB de Villiers special is on the way and so we recommend backing the Spartans.
Back the Tshwane Spartans to win.
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