The Blitz were hoping to take his momentum into their batting effort and seemed well on track when Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan raced to 34 after four overs
Newlands, Cape Town
Paarl Rocks (8 wickets)163
(Davids 48, Pretorius 29, Magala 2/35)
Cape Town Blitz (9 wickets)161
(Nawaz 41, Shamsi 2/26, Fortuin 2/20)
RESULTS: Rocks won by 2 runs
FORGET what the doomsayers are saying, the Mzansi Super League is a genuine product.
The entertainment served up by Cape Town Blitz and Paarl Rocks at Newlands yesterday was of the highest quality, with the Rocks taking home the spoils by just two runs to be crowned “Kings of the Cape” in MSL 2.0.
The fact that the match was decided on the last ball added to the excitement, with the Blitz requiring four runs for victory. With the home crowd baying for another big heave from Sisanda Magala, the all-rounder could only smear the ball down to Rocks captain Faf du Plessis on the long-off boundary.
Du Plessis ensured he covered the ground quickly and then fielded cleanly before throwing the ball back to bowler Isuru Udana, who took off the bails to set off raucous celebrations in the Rocks camp.
Uduna would have been the most relieved player on the field. The Sri Lankan international had a day to forget and virtually gift-wrapped the victory for the Blitz. Not only did he take a “wicket” with a no-ball, but bowled two wides and dropped a catch off his own bowling in the final over.
Fortunately it did not matter for the visitors, who had fought bravely throughout. Their initial 163/8 seemed 20 runs too light on the day, with none of their batsman being able to kick on after a solid start.
Henry Davids had laid the platform with a 33-ball 48 before Du Plessis (21), James Vince (23) and Dwaine Pretorius (29) kept the scoreboard moving.
The Rocks’ batsmen could not evade the acrobatics of Wahab Riaz though as he pulled off two of the most astonishing catches Newlands has seen in a long time.
Riaz, fielding at long-off, initially misjudged a Du Plessis’ long strike but recovered before throwing himself aerially to his right to take a two-handed catch at full stretch.
The second catch was equally brilliant. Fielding at point on this occasion, Riaz back-peddled and stuck out his right hand to take another blinder.
The Blitz were hoping to take his momentum into their batting effort and seemed well on track when Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan raced to 34 after four overs.
However, as Du Plessis said in the pre-match press conference: “We must just get De Kock”, and that’s exactly what transpired after the Blitz lost their skipper for 23.
Tabraiz Shamsi (2/26) and Bjorn Fortuin (2/20) are two high-quality spinners and are proving integral to the Rocks’ cause.
The spin twins squeezed the Blitz’s top-order with only Mohammad Nawaz (41) and Vernon Philander (33) keeping the home team in the game until the final-over drama.