The Jozi Stars may have suffered a stuttering start to the defence of their title, but it certainly hasn’t been any fault of Reeza Hendricks
Cricket SA may be experiencing all sorts of problems, but there was a feel good factor for the action on the field to take centre stage once again.
Here are five things that was good about the Mzansi Super League’s opening round of matches
us all hope
With the spotlight focused firmly on the strength of South Africa’s domestic competitions, and the young players its producing, it was encouraging to see the performance of Cape Town Blitz opener Janneman Malan.
MSL 1.0 was Malan’s launch pad last year, but he remains still only 23 years old and is determined to show he’s no one-season wonder. He thoroughly deserved a 100 in the tournament opener against Jozi Stars, and should only get better the longer he gets to bat with Proteas superstar Quinton de Kock.
With the World T20 set to played on Australia’s hard pitches next year, he should definitely come into consideration if he maintains this early form.
still have it
The myth that T20 cricket is a young man’s game has long been dispelled, but watching the likes of Dale Steyn, Chris Morris and Imran Tahir show the youngsters that there’s plenty left in the tank was particularly pleasing.
In a match where over 400 runs were scored, on a belter of an Evan Flint Wanderers pitch, and bowlers regularly conceded over 10 runs per over, Steyn ran in with gusto to turn the game in the Blitz’ favour with 3/25. Equally, Morris and Tahir were equally miserly down in Port Elizabeth to keep the defending champions, Jozi Stars, winless after two games.
The Jozi Stars may have suffered a stuttering start to the defence of their title, but it certainly hasn’t been any fault of Reeza Hendricks.
The Proteas opener was a MSL 1.0 run machine and he has simply continued where he left off last season. Two half-centuries in the opening two games places him comfortably on top of the run-scorers list.
Spin is king
The advent of T20 cricket has been recognised as the re-birth of spin bowling, particularly wrist spinners, but it seems its any variety that turns the ball away for the right-handers.
The left-armers George Linde and Bjorn Fortuin – arguably direct challengers for a Proteas T20 berth – were superb in Paarl, while Rocks premier slow bowler, left-wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, showed his value too.
The Paarl Rocks know how to throw a party and they were at it again on Sunday in the Cape derby against the Blitz. From the moment you enter the winelands town off the N1, there is a feeling that you are now in “Purple Town” with Rocks banners lining the Main Street.
The ‘gees’ is carried through to the stadium with a DJ that simply never stops. Definitely the success story of MSL.