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|Theunis de Bruyn||66||38||9||2||173.68|
|AB de Villiers||32||18||4||1||177.78|
|Tony de Zorzi||4||6||0||0||66.67|
The third match of the Mzansi Super League is going to be played between the Paarl Rocks and the Tshwane Spartans. While this match will be the first outing for the Paarl Rocks in the MSL, the Tshwane Spartans would be playing its second match.
AB de Villers is leading the Tshwane Spartans and he is bound to attract a lot of attention to the side. Their heavy loss in the opening match to the Cape Town Blitz, though, would have not been the impression de Villiers is looking to make in his first match after announcing international retirement.
The Mzansi Super League is a pretty long tournament, though, and there are going to be plenty of opportunities for teams to jostle for places. Can the Spartans use this opportunity to register its first win of the tournament?
Like the other teams in the league so far, the Paarl Rocks has a number of players that are going to be playing for South Africa in the T20 against Australia. While this match takes place a day after that encounter, it is unclear if the players will be able to join the side so soon after.
The biggest players for Paarl Rocks are Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo. Du Plessis has been in excellent form over the Australian tour and will be looking to continue that in the Mzansi Super League as well. Not only is du Plessis one of the best batsmen in the South African set-up he is also one of the shrewdest brains going around.
As a captain, du Plessis adds a lot to the side just by his leadership qualities as well.
Dwayne Bravo is one of the most experienced T20 players in the world. No bowler has taken more wickets than him in the T20 format and his batting has seen a resurgence in recent times as well. Dwyane Bravo is also another player that can use his incredible experience of playing T20 cricket around the world to help guide the youngsters in the side.
The Paarl Rocks also have Aiden Markram in their side. He is one of the most talented youngsters in the world right now and we believe he is on the cusp of realizing his potential. Markram will find the move down to domestic cricket pretty easy to make and could be the batsman of this tournament.
Tabraiz Shamsi provides the quality spin option in the side while Paul Stirling from Ireland adds to the batting power at the top. Paarl Rocks will also be hoping that Dane Paterson can channel his pace in the right direction and be the spearhead for the side.
A lot will depend on player availability for the Paarl Rocks but they should be a difficult side to stop if the South African players become available for selection.
M Klinger, VBV Jaarsveld, Henry Davids, C Delport, Patrick Kruger, Mangaliso Mosehle, Dwayne Bravo, GM Thomson, Dane Paterson, Kerwin Mungroo, Bjorn Fortuin.
The Tshwane Spartans would be very disappointed with their start to the tournament. They did not bowl well and allowed the opposition to get too many runs at the death. The batting performance of the Tshwane Spartans was also very disappointing.
Perhaps the reason this loss will sting more than otherwise is the fact that the Spartans had most of its players available for selection while the Cape Town Blitz was missing several players from its core.
A look at the bowling scorecard of the Tshwane Spartans shows some strange choices made. Rory Kleinvedlt is one of the best death bowlers going around but he was not given a fourth over even when his first three were very economical.
The decision to give von Berg an over could have been down to the excellent spell that Jeevan Mendis bowled but that ended up costing the Spartans heavily. Not only did von Berg go for 13 runs in his over, but the batsmen also started regaining the momentum in their inning.
Birch bowled well with the new ball and Sipamla came back strongly after a tough start. Robbie Frylinck was good in patches but the bowler of the day was Jeevan Mendis. He bowled with control and got some purchase of the surface to keep the batsmen guessing.
While the bowling looks to have some potential, the Tshwane Spartans fans would be worried about the side’s batting. Dean Elgar played well for 32, de Villiers got 59 off 30 balls even without being at his best, and Rilee Rossow stuck around for some time but there was no one else to speak of.
Cloete, de Zorzi, and Frylinck did not contribute anything with the bat. They also ate up some deliveries which put the pressure on the batters to follow.
It was clear for the majority of the inning that the Spartans fate rested in AB de Villiers hands. If he had batted till the end, the Spartans would have won but because he got out, they lost.
A side cannot depend on just one player alone and needs to find some more consistency from its other payers.
Gihahn Cloete, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, Rilee Rossouw, Theunis de Bruyn, Robbie Frylinck, Rory Kleinveldt, BMAJ Mendis, Lutho Sipamla, Andrew Birch.
The team 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.
The weather forecast for the match is pretty good. The weather is expected to be sunny without any significant chance of rain. The ground at Paarl is pretty interesting. The pitch can be a little up and down over there but we expect the staff to have prepared a flat batting wicket for this tournament.
The fast bowlers also tend to get something out of the wicket.
A score of around 170 should be seen as par.
The Tshwane Spartans have the advantage of playing one match in the tournament. Even though they lost, they still ended up knowing a little more about their best combination. AB de Villiers also showed some very encouraging form.
The Paarl Rocks side is very good on paper but we are not sure it will have all its first choice players available.
Back the Tshwane Spartans to win.
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