Tshwane Spartans were stunned by the Cape Town Blitz in the opening fixture of Mzansi Super League 2018. Spartans will now look to bounce back when they face Paarl Rocks in the fourth fixture of MSL T20 at the Boland Park in Paarl on Sunday, November 18.
The Spartans failed to pose any threat to the opposition and suffered massive defeat against the Blitz. They were outplayed in all three facets of the game and were not able to challenge the opposition at all.
AB de Villiers was the sole performer for Tshwane Spartans in the previous fixture against Blitz. The talisman batsman smashed 59 runs off 30 balls and one can expect him to come up with a similar performance on Sunday.
Except him, the only batsman to show some resistance against quality lineup was Dean Elgar. The southpaw played a watchful knock of 32 runs in 26 balls and will be keen to put up a decent contribution in the match.
The skipper will also hope for some handy contributions from Eoin Morgan and Gihahn Cloete. Morgan is an experienced campaigner in T20s and has 28 T20 half-centuries to his name.
Cloete is an aggressive opener and he should look to set the tone for the match with a good opening salvo. It will be essential that these two put up a decent platform for the middle and lower order.
With the ball, Andrew Birch was the pick of the lot with two wickets. However, he was tad too expensive and would like to rectify it against Rocks. The onus will also be on the likes of Rory Kleinveldt and Jeevan Mendis to pick up wickets at regular intervals and maintain constant pressure on Paarl Rocks.
Expected Playing XI
AB de Villiers (C), Eoin Morgan, Rilee Rossouw, Theunis de Bruyn, Gihahn Cloete, Robbie Frylinck/Sikandar Raza, Jeevan Mendis, Rory Kleinveldt, Lutho Sipamla and Andrew Birch.
In the absence of Faf du Plessis, who was named their captain for 2018 season, Paarl Rocks have named batsman Henry David as their interim skipper for the first two games of MSL 2018.
Paarl Rocks will expect a good start from their openers Paul Stirling and Michael Klinger. While Stirling has 1122 T20I runs to his name and is one of most consistent performers in T20 cricket, Klinger is known to be a destructive T20 opener for South Australia. The team will need these two to set the tone for the rest of the innings.
Skipper Henry Davids has scored 3251 runs in 157 T20 matches and he will be eager to play a captain's knock. David Wiese and Dwayne Bravo are solid players in the middle order and are capable of holding the innings in case of early jolts.
In the absence of Tabraiz Shamsi, Dane Paterson will be their main weapons against Spartans. The pacer is coming off a good outing in the first-class tournament for Cape Cobras and he will be backed by skipper to rattle the opponents' top order early on.
The team will also bank on lesser-known bowling commodities like Fortuin, Kruger and Moreki to deliver the goods with the ball.
Expected Playing XI
Henry Davids (C), David Wiese, Mangaliso Mosehle, Dwayne Bravo, Patrick Kruger, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Dane Paterson, Bjorn Fortuin, Tshepo Moreki, Paul Stirling and Michael Klinger.