Jozi steal Cape Town’s Blitz at Newlands

Gauteng side victorious in inaugural Mzansi Super League

Jozi Stars with the trophy during the Mzansi Super League final match between Cape Town Blitz and Jozi Stars at PPC Newlands on December 16, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Jozi Stars with the trophy during the Mzansi Super League final match between Cape Town Blitz and Jozi Stars at PPC Newlands on December 16, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

The Jozi Stars were crowned inaugural Mzansi Super League (MSL) champions after a comprehensive eight-wicket win over the Cape Town Blitz at Newlands Stadium on Sunday.

The Blitz, who finished at the top of the standings to earn a home final, buckled under pressure with a below-average total of 133/7 after winning the toss and choosing to bat.

Their total – the lowest for a team batting first in the tournament – was a piece of cake for the Stars, who easily crossed the line on 115/2 after 17.3 overs and with 15 balls to spare.

Half-centurion Rassie van der Dussen, who ended as the highest scorer in the tournament with 469, and his captain Dane Vilas were unbeaten on respective scores of 59 and 4.

The two wickets to fall for Stars were opener Ryan Rickelton (6), who was bowled by Steyn in the third over, and Reeza Hendricks (33), who was caught at deep square leg by Dawid Malan off the bowling of Malusi Siboto in the 16th over.

When they set the target, notable contributors for the Blitz were Kyle Verreynne and skipper Farhaan Behardien with 23 runs each, and the closest to them were Malan, Dale Steyn and Ferisco Adams scoring 17, 15 and 12 respectively.

Their highest partnership was 25 off 24 between Behardien and Verreynne in the middle of the overs – hardly competition-winning material.

Their problems started in the second over when star batsman Quinton de Kock was caught in the deep by Reeza Hendricks at cow corner from the bowling of Beuran Hendricks and they did not recover from that.

The following three wickets – Malan, Mohammad Nawaz and Asif Ali – went for a mere 20 runs to leave the Blitz in serious trouble on 48/4 after 9.3 overs and needing someone to rescue their innings.

Verreynne did his best to steer them in the right direction but he departed in the 14th over when he was clean bowled by Proteas star Kagiso

The Blitz buckled under pressure with a below-average total of 133/7

Rabada and he was soon followed by Andile Phehlukwayo and Behardien.

When their innings ended after 20 overs, Adams and Steyn were unbeaten on 12 and 15 respectively and faced with the tough job of protecting a low total. With ball in hand, Duanne Olivier and Beuran Hendricks claimed two apiece while Rabada and Daniel Christian returned with one each for the Stars.

Stars reached the final because they finished second on the standings in the round robin and their eliminator match against third-placed Paarl Rocks was rained out on Friday at the Wanderers.

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