MSL 2018 Final - Cape Town Blitz vs Jozi Stars: Preview and Playing XI
Both Cape Town Blitz and Jozi Stars are set to clash in the final of the inaugural Mzansi Super League 2018 at the Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday, December 16.
They will be going head-to-head for the third time in this MSL season, with both teams sharing the scoreline honours at 1-1. So one may expect both teams to come out blazing in order to get their hands on MSL trophy.
Blitz won six and lost three of their nine league matches. That included back to back wins in each of their first four matches, however, they lost their plot in the second half of the tournament and managed just two wins from remaining games. But the exceptional performance in the first half led them through to the final of MSL 2018.
The opening pair of Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan hold the key in Cape Town batting. Both these batsmen have shown sublime form in this Mzansi Super League and they are expected to take the Blitz off to yet another solid start. Quinton is leading team's runs charts with 407 runs and Janeman follows him with 305 runs.
They will also bank on the likes of Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz and skipper Farhaan Behardein, who have also chipped in with some fine contributions. Their main concern will be David Malan who is not looking in the best of form and managed just 43 runs throughout the season. The team will need him to put up a strong performance in the final against Stars.
Dale Steyn is the Biltz best bowler with 11 wickets in eight matches and he is likely to rattle Islanders top-order early on. Malusi Siboto also proved his worth throughout the tournament, having picked up eight wickets and he is going to be their go-to man in middle overs.
Expected Playing XI
Farhaan Behardein (C), Andile Phehlukwayo, Mohammad Nawaz, Ferisco Adams, Dale Steyn, Malusi Siboto, Nandre Burger, Quinton de Kock, Janneman Malan, Dawid Malan and Asif Ali.
Jozi Stars won six of their ten league games to finish second in the table. The Stars have improved as the tournament went on after winning just two games in the first half. The Stars astonishingly raised their bat in second half and registered thumping wins against Nelson Mandela Bay Giants (81 runs), Blitz (50 runs) and Tshwane Spartans (101 runs) respectively.
Rassie van der Dussen has been in superb form in recent times and currently lead the tournaments batting chart with 410 runs. Scores of 42, 14, 83* and 96* in last four games clearly demonstrates his form and worth in this lineup, and this makes him the go-to player for the team.
Apart from him, Reeza Hendricks and Ryan Rickleton are other two firepower batsmen in the team who can take the game away from Blitz. Both have scored 379 and 245 runs so far and it'll be essential for Stars that these two play a big role in the mega-final.
Duanne Olivier and Kagis Rabada have been the spearheads of the Stars attack in the tournament. Both have shared 30 wickets between them claiming 18 and 12 respectively, and these two are expected to pose a major threat to the Blitz batters.
While Nono Pongolo and Reeza Hendricks have taken ten wickets each and these two will be backed by the skipper to pick up a few scalps in the middle overs.
Expected Playing XI
Dane Vilas (C), Pite van Biljon, Simon Harmer, Nono Pongolo, Duanne Olivier, Beuran Hendricks, Ryan Rickleton, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Kagiso Rabada and Dan Christian.