The thrilling cricketing action continued in the Mzansi Super League 2019 as the Tshwane Spartans toppled the Paarl Rocks in a thumping win at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. Roelof van der Merwe and AB de Villiers were the stars of the show for the Tshwane Spartans as the Spartans displaced the Rocks off the top of the table.
A strong bowling performance from the Tshwane Spartans saw them restrict the Paarl Rocks to a paltry score of 126 runs with all but one bowlers getting at least one wicket. Roelof van der Merwe was the pick of the bowling unit finishing with stunning figures of 3/15 from his spell of four overs, an economy of 3.75 runs per over.
The Spartans began a cautious chase of the modest total with the early loss of their openers Theunis de Bruyn and Dean Elgar. Their star batsman, AB de Villiers had different plans in store as he spearheaded the chase with a vintage de Villiers innings scoring 69 runs in 37 deliveries, marked by 6 fours and 3 sixes making easy work of the total insight.
Tshwane Spartans moved atop the Mzansi Super League 2019 standings with this win over the former league leaders Paarl Rocks. Three teams - Tshwane Spartans, Paarl Rocks and Nelson Mandela Bay Giants are locked on 19 points with both Spartans and Bay Giants having played six matches, whereas the Rocks have played seven. The Tshwane Spartans, however, stay ahead on the league standings on account of having a higher Net Run Rate than the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.
We take a closer look at three players whose performances impacted the result in favour of the Tshwane Spartans the most tonight.
#3 Morne Morkel - Tshwane Spartans
Morne Morkel was pipped to be one of the major components of the Tshwane Spartans and he did just that in his spell tonight.
Morkel got the key wicket of the Paarl Rocks' opener Henry Davids in the 3rd over of the match and bowled a strong opening spell. He kept his consistency going through the Rocks' innings and kept the run flow in check.
The lanky South African international added another wicket to his tally on the night and finished with figures of 4-0-22-2, an economy of 5.5 runs per over, second best only behind Roelof van der Merwe, who had an economy of 3.75.
#2 AB de Villiers - Tshwane Spartans
The star T20 batsman of the Tshwane Spartans, AB de Villiers was back in his deadly form on the pitch scoring 69 runs in 37 balls to make the chase seem easy to get the bonus-point win for his side.
De Villiers had scored a half-century in the Spartans' previous fixture against the Jozi Stars and continued his form against the Paarl Rocks. His ability to hit the ball all across the park and looking effortless in doing so continues to maintain his status as the most dangerous batsman in the world.
He formed a good partnership with the Spartans' skipper Heinrich Klaasen worth 73 runs and took his side home and to the top of the table.
#1 Roelof van der Merwe - Tshwane Spartans
Roelof van der Merwe, the slow left-arm orthodox spinner of the Tshwane Spartans was the pick of the bowling unit as he decimated the middle order of the Paarl Rocks. His disciplined bowling kept the Rocks' run rate in check and three wickets helped restrict them to 126 runs.
Merwe pulled off a stunning spell of 4-0-15-3 on the night as he managed to get the prized scalp of the Paarl Rocks' skipper Faf du Plessis, Sibonelo Makhanya and Mangaliso Mosehle. His ability to stem the run flow by getting rid of the dangerous hitters was incredibly crucial to set up an easy win for the Tshwane Spartans. Roelof van der Merwe was adjudged the Man of the Match for his performance of the night.
The league leaders Tshwane Spartans will take on the Cape Town Blitz at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town on 1st December 2019. On the same day, the Paarl Rocks face off against the Jozi Stars at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.Published 30 Nov 2019, 02:08 IST