The Paarl Rocks managed to secure a home ground final as they finished atop the MSL 2019 standings after the win over the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. Both the teams have 27 points from 10 league matches but the Rocks occupy the top spot, courtesy a better head to head record against the Bay Giants in the league.
The toss was won by the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and elected to take the bowl first. Paarl Rocks' opening pair of Henry Davids and Cameron Delport got them off to a good start, scoring 56 runs in less than 6 overs. The skipper FAF du Plessis and Kyle Verreynne played well in the middle of the innings and Isuru Udana contributed at the death to string up a total of 168-5 at the end of the 20 overs.
Imran Tahir was the pick of the bowlers for the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants getting the wickets of James Vince and Sibonelo Makhanya in consecutive balls in the 14th over.
The Bay Giants had a decent start with Ben Dunk getting a few runs on the board as Heino Kuhn managed to put together a knock of 58 runs to spearhead the chase. Kuhn almost got the Bay Giants home but failed to get across the line as they fell short of the target by 12 runs.
We take a look at three players who made an impact on the match with their performance on the pitch.
#3 Cameron Delport - Paarl Rocks
The Paarl Rocks were up against the formidable bowling unit of the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and a good start was necessary to get the first innings going.
Rocks' left-handed opener Cameron Delport took responsibility at the top and built a quick partnership of 56 runs with Henry Davids within the first six overs of the Powerplay. Delport scored a brisk knock of 39 runs in just 22 balls, of which 36 runs came in boundaries.
#2 Imran Tahir - Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants' bowling stalwart Imran Tahir continued his fine form with the ball as the side managed to restrict the in-form Rocks batting unit to a total of 168-5.
Tahir's ability to keep the run flow in check was on display again as he only conceded 14 runs in his spell of four overs. He picked up two wickets at a time when the Rocks were approaching the slog overs and were looking to get big runs on the board.
Tahir picked up two wickets in consecutive balls to get rid of the dangerous James Vince and Sibonelo Makhanya. In his four overs, he bowled a total of 12 dot balls, thus establishing his discipline on the pitch.
#1 Ferisco Adams - Paarl Rocks
Paarl Rocks' Ferisco Adams was the pick of the bowlers for the team as they did their best and restricted the Bay Giants to 156-6 to get a key win in their final league encounter.
The Bay Giants had gotten off to a poor start but the middle order did well to put the Rocks in with a chance of chasing down the target. Adams started off the innings, getting the wicket of young Matthew Breetzke to break the opening partnership early on.
Heino Kuhn was in prime form and had gotten his fifty towards the end of the innings and Adams had gotten hit for quite a few runs. He came in to bowl the last over as the Rocks needed 23 runs to get the win. Adams gave away nine runs in the first three balls but bounced back quickly, taking two wickets in consecutive deliveries.
He got rid of Marco Marais and the dangerous Heino Kuhn to put the contest beyond any doubt to get the win for the Paarl Rocks.