All or nothing for NMB Giants
Jon-Jon Smuts' team must win to make MSLT20 playoff
It is a case of all or nothing for Nelson Mandela Bay Giants when they clash with the Rocks in their final Mzansi Super League group match in Paarl on Wednesday (2pm).
The equation for the Giants is a simple one: win and they progress to the second and third place eliminator, lose and they will be knocked out of the competition.
That is the stark reality facing Jon-Jon Smuts’ team but the star allrounder says they are up for the challenge .
The side has not played their best cricket in recent matches and have not won in their last three games. To be fair though, sandwiched between two losses was the abandoned match against the Durban Heat where they were in a strong position at 121 for two after 13.3 overs until rain had the final say at Kingsmead.
“Yes, we have not played our best cricket yet but we still in a good position. Rain hasn’t helped us either. But for us, we have to win on Wednesday against Paarl,” Smuts said.
Spin, I think, will play a big role in Paarl, especially with it being a day game and a big fieldJon-Jon Smuts, NMB Giants skipper
Faf du Plessis’ Rocks beat the Jozi Stars on Sunday and still find themselves in contention for the playoff.
“Paarl is a good side. They play well to their strengths and their batters have performed nicely and their spinners have done well,” added Smuts.
On that note, spin is likely to be a big factor for both sides with the Giants expected to call upon the experienced trio of Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso and Smuts to perform the turning role.
“Spin, I think, will play a big role in Paarl, especially with it being a day game and a big field. So I’m sure there will be lots of spin overs,” said the Giants skipper.
An area the Giants are looking to improve on is their batting in the first six overs. Smuts admits his side have been found wanting in that sphere of the game at times and the side will want to apply themselves better on Wednesday.
“It’s obviously very important for us not to lose wickets in power play. It’s been a bit of an Achilles heal for us but we know what we have to rectify that.”
The other match on Wednesday sees the Tshwane Spartans hosting Durban Heat at Centurion.
Squads for Paarl:
NMB Giants: Imran Tahir, Jason Roy, Chris Morris, Jon-Jon Smuts, Junior Dala, Christiaan Jonker, Aaron Phangiso, Ben Duckett, Sisanda Magala, Ryan McLaren, Heino Kuhn, Marco Marais, Dylan Matthews, Lizaard Williams, Rudi Second, Carmi le Roux
Paarl Rocks: Aiden Markram, Michael Klinger, Dane Paterson, Tabraiz Shamsi, Mangaliso Mosehle, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Tshepo Moreki, David Wiese, Kerwin Mungroo, Vaughan van Jaarsveld, Grant Thomson, Eathan Bosch, Patrick Kruger