The 29th game of the Mzansi Super League 2019 throws up a crucial clash as the Tshwane Spartans host the Cape Town Blitz at the SuperSport Park in Centurion in a match that will play a big role in the teams involved reaching the playoffs.
As we reach the penultimate day of matches in the Mzansi Super League 2019, the two sides in action will have high hopes of clinching a win in their final league encounters considering the playoff scenarios. A win for the Tshwane Spartans will seal their playoffs spot and possibly even a top-two finish if the Paarl Rocks lose against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.
Cape Town Blitz have a do-or-die match at their hand as a loss puts them out of contention for the playoffs and a win provides them with a chance of a top-four finish. Blitz will be able to put pressure on the Durban Heat who will take on Jozi Stars in the final league match the next day.
Tshwane Spartans were unfortunate in their previous match as the encounter against the bottom-placed side Jozi Stars was abandoned due to rain and they only got two points from the encounter. They had lost their previous encounter against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants who chased down a target of 189 runs courtesy a Ben Dunk special knock.
Cape Town Blitz too suffered a loss against the same opposition in their previous fixture as they lost out by 11 runs on the night chasing a target of 174 runs. The Blitz will hope for a better result from the final league match to improve their playoff chances.
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We take a look at three players whose performances on the pitch will surely have a big impact on the result of the high stakes encounter.
#3 Wahab Riaz - Cape Town Blitz
Pakistani left-arm fast bowler Wahab Riaz has slowly but steadily made his mark for the Cape Town Blitz despite his fellow bowlers Dale Steyn and Sisanga Magala dominating the wickets tally for the Blitz.
Wahab Riaz has picked up 9 wickets in seven matches so far in the Mzansi Super League but has lately been at his best in the league. He comes into the match against the Tshwane Spartans having taken five wickets in the previous two matches against the Giants and Spartans.
Riaz finished with superb figures of 4-0-19-3 in the Blitz's loss against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and will be aiming to make his presence felt yet again when the Blitz take on the Spartans. He has the ability to generate bounce from the pitch and keeps the batsmen puzzled with his changes in pace through the spell. He can double up as an all-rounder as well when required to provide crucial quickfire runs in the death overs.
#2 AB de Villiers - Tshwane Spartans
South Africa's most famous cricketer has been perhaps the most in-form middle-order batsman in the league stage of the Mzansi Super League 2019. He has reached the fourth spot in the run-scoring charts despite the Spartans having two of their matches abandoned due to rain.
Over the past four matches for the Spartans, AB de Villiers has managed to score three 50+ knocks handling the responsibility of setting the target or chasing it down for the team. His ability to play shots almost at free will all around the park makes him a dangerous commodity on any day.
Spartans will be hoping that de Villiers continues to play in the same vein as he has recently in order to help seal the playoff spot and potentially a place in the top-two in the league standings with a win over the Blitz.
#1 Janneman Malan - Cape Town Blitz
Mzansi Super League 2019's highest-scoring batsman Janneman Malan has consistently been able to be amongst the runs at the top of the batting order for the Cape Town Blitz.
In a nine matches in the league so far, Malan has scored a total of 358 runs with a strike rate of 149.79 demonstrating his ability to score big shots in the powerplay overs. He leads the MSL 2019 with the most number of sixes scored so far having cleared the boundaries 22 times.
Malan has given a lot of strong starts to the Blitz and will be hoping to emulate his form again when they face the Spartans in a critical match. His form will be crucial for the Blitz irrespective of the innings as they would aim to get a much-needed win over the Spartans.
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