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|RN ten Doeschate||26||25||1||0||104.00|
|RE Van Der Merwe||4.0||0||26||1||6.50|
|AB de Villiers||27||15||4||0||180.00|
|PJ van Biljon||48||32||5||1||150.00|
|Tony de Zorzi||26||27||1||0||96.30|
After along tussle that lasted for 30 days spanning over a month, we are finally in the business end of the Mzansi Super League. Paarl Rocks have topped the table after league stage and have consequently obtained the direct entry to the finale. Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Tshwane Spartans finished at the second and third spot respectively and are set to take on each other in the only qualifier. The winner of this upcoming contest will take on Paarl Rocks, who have already reserved a berth in the finale. Both Spartans and Nelson Mandela Bay Giants did pretty well in the league stage and with a place in the finale at stage, we expect a had-fought contest between the two sides at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth on 13th December.
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants were terrific leading up their last league match, but a defeat to Paarl Rocks robbed them of a direct entry to the finale. At the conclusion of the round-robin stage, the Bay Giants finished second at the ladder with 27 points to their name. They won six matches from ten, same as the Rocks, and were separated from the first place by only net run-rate.
Batting second on a decent wicket of Boland Park, Nelson Mandela Bay Giants would have fancied chasing a total of 169 on most days. However, they found it so hard against the Rocks that they were restricted for 156, 12 runs short of Paarl Rocks' total. Barring Heino Kuhn, who scored 58 off 43 deliveries, none of their batsmen got going as the second highest personal score of their innings was 27 by Ben Dunk. They needed 23 runs off the final over to seal the deal, but Marais and Kuhn could score only 10 as they lost the match.
Earlier with the ball, the Bay Giants did a fantastic job to keep the Rocks to a manageable total. The Bay Giants pulled things back nicely after conceding 85 runs in the first ten overs. Imran Tahir was once against sensational as he picked up two wickets for just 14 runs in his four overs. Morris, on the other hand, was hammered for plenty as he gave away 51 runs in his four overs and failed to pick any wicket.
Ben Dunk, Matthew Breetzke, JJT Smuts, Heino Kuhn, RN ten Doeschate, Marco Marais, Chris Morris, Nandre Burger, Akhona Mnyaka, Imran Tahir, Mthiwekhaya Nabe.
The Spartans were without a doubt the unluckiest team in the league stage as five of their ten matches were washed out due to rain. Despite that, they finished at the third spot on the points table with 23 points to their name. Their net run-rate of 0.519 was second only to that of Paarl Rocks.
While Tshwane Spartans had a terrific start to their campaign, winning most all of their completed matches in the first half, they seem to lose their way towards the end of the league stage. Before their last two matches were washed out due to rain, they faced defeat against Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Cape Town Blitz in back to back matches.
Ironically, their last completed match was against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, which is the team they are going to face in the qualifier. The Spartans failed to defend a reasonably good total of 188 as their fielders dropped Ben Dunk four times, who went onto win the match for the Giants with his 99-run knock.
Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, Heinrich Klaasen, PJ van Biljon, RE Van Der Merwe, D Wiese, Corbin Bosch, Imran Manack, Morne Morkel, Lutho Sipamla.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy prediction for the first qualifier of the Mzansi Super League 2019 between Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Tshwane Spartans
Needless to say, this is the most important match in the tournament so far for the both the sides. They both have had a similar run in the tournament and there is nothing to separate the sides on the basis of that. In the last few matches, however, the Bay Giants have appeared to be losing steam and it was apparent in their encounter against the Rocks as well. While the same can be said for the Spartans as well, they have an experienced unit that can prove to be a blessing for them. Besides, AB de Villiers is in fantastic form and will be tough to stop for the Bay Giants' bowlers. For the reasons mentioned above and enticing odds, we think that the Spartans are going to win the upcoming match and meet Paarl Rocks in the finale of Mzansi Super League 2019.
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