The Mzansi Super League 2019 kicked off the action for the weekend with the first clash of a double header day when Jozi Stars faced off against the Paarl Rocks at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Paarl Rocks got back to the top of the league standings getting the win over the Jozi Stars as they chased down the target of 171 runs set by the Stars.
The Jozi Stars did well at their top of the innings as the partnership of Reeza Hendricks and Temba Bavuma set the stage for a good total. Reeza Hendricks continued his fine form for the Jozi Stars getting a score of 74 runs in 53 balls as he got back to the top of the highest runs scored charts. Stars finished their innings with a score of 171/3 setting up a competitive chase for the Paarl Rocks.
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Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik made his debut for the Jozi Stars after replaying Chris Gayle in the squad and played a short cameo scoring 20 runs in eight balls to stretch the innings total at the end.
The Paarl Rocks had a tough time in their start to the chase as they lost their opener Henry Davids on the first ball of the innings. At one point, they were struggling at 53-4 with 172 to chase but the youngster Sibonela Makhanya came in and turned the chase around. He played a match-winning knock of 63 runs in 47 balls partnering with Isuru Udana to take the Paarl Rocks home for the win. The Jozi Stars continued to stay winless in the Mzansi Super League 2019 losing all seven of their matches.
We take a look at the three players whose performances on the pitch today played a big role in shaping up the final results.
#3 Reeza Hendricks - Jozi Stars
Jozi Stars' opening batsman Reeza Hendricks was the star of the lineup again continuing his rise at the top of the runs scored charts with a knock of 74 runs. Along with Temba Bavuma, he got the Stars off to a good start after losing Ryan Rickelton early off in the inning.
Hendricks recovered from his duck in the last match against the Tshwane Spartans with a stellar knock setting the stage for a good total today. His innings was splattered with 7 fours and 2 sixes as he got his runs at a sturdy strike rate of 139.62.
He was able to deal with the strong bowling unit of Paarl Rocks composing of Hardus Viljoen, Tabraiz Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin with ease on his way to getting the runs with a consistent flow. He played right from the start of the innings till the 17th over as he took his season runs tally to 275 runs in seven matches of the MSL 2019 season.
#2 Isuru Udana - Paarl Rocks
Sri Lankan all-rounder Isuru Udana played a key role with both the bat and ball for the Paarl Rocks as they got a crucial win over the Jozi Stars.
In the first innings of the match, Udana got the first scalp of Ryan Rickelton early in the Stars' innings getting him out with a James Vince catch. His spell of four overs was a display of stringent disciplined bowling conceding just 29 runs at an economy of 7.25 runs per over. He got the prized wicket of Star's opener Reeza Hendricks at 74 in the 17th over which helped them restrict the Stars from scoring a massive total.
When it came to the batting, Udana contributed with a smart innings of 28 runs in 16 balls as he played the right supporting role to Sibonelo Makhanya as the chased down the target of 172 runs.
#1 Sibonelo Makahnya - Paarl Rocks
The Paarl Rocks were struggling at 53-4 in their run chase of 172 with all the stalwarts - James Vince, FAF du Plessis and Henry Davids back in the pavilion. 23-year old all-rounder Sibonelo Makhanya walked in at a critical juncture in the innings for the Paarl Rocks.
Makhanya started to take control of the chase within no time and started to pick up consistent runs as the Rocks recovered from their slump early in the innings. He scored 63 runs in 47 balls which proved to be the match-winning knock as the Rocks made easy work of the run chase in the end. Makhanya was supported by Kyle Verreynne and Isuru Udana as they got back to the top of the Mzansi Super League 2019 standings.