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Rocks bring Blitz down to earth

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The Paarl side rocks especially with its passionate purple fan base.

Tabraiz Shamsi celebrates his wicket against of the Paarl Rocks batting against Cape Town Blitz in the Mzansi Super League 2.0 game played at at Boland Cricket Stadium. Picture: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

MSL T20 Boland Park
Paarl Rocks (9 wkts) 170 
Davids 38, Du Plessis 38, Linde 3/23. Nortje 3/31)
CT Blitz 84
Linde 15, Shamsi 3/16, Viljoen 2/9
RESULT: Rocks won by 86 runs

The Paarl Rocks really are the darlings of the Mzansi Super League. And it all starts with their passionate purple fan base that turns up at Boland Park ready for a party.

Yesterday they were royally entertained as Faf du Plessis’ team crushed their noisy neighbours Cape Town Blitz. 

The Rocks were simply better in every department. 

Even though their own innings fell away – the home team were 107/2 after 10.3 overs – they still had more than enough in the bank.

It really was a comedown for the Blitz batting unit after they had belted a record 213 at the Wanderers on Friday. However, at the coast, the wickets are much slower and it requires greater application than simply hitting through the line especially against a Paarl Rocks bowling line-up hand picked for the conditions. 

Proteas T20 left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin (2/13) continues to enhance his reputation for being able to deliver in the powerplay, while the rest of the Rocks bowlers took pace off the ball from the outset. 

The plan worked particularly well against Blitz openers Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock, who both fell to Hardus Viljoen. 


Knockout blows

From then on it was a struggle throughout with fellow Proteas T20 chinaman spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (3/16) delivering the knockout blows.

“We were excellent with the ball. We picked guys for a reason. All our bowlers were brilliant,” Du Plessis said. “Last year the expectation was that the wicket was going to play slow, but then it was an absolute road.

“I thought this year that we needed a bit more variety in our attack. Obviously we went quite early with Hardus and then (Isuru) Udana offers you the left-arm option. Ferisco (Adams), you can see the skills that he has.”

The Blitz have a couple of days off to re-assess their plans, especially now that England World Cup winner Moeen Ali heads off to the T10 League in Abu Dhabi. 

They will, though, be enforced by the arrival of Pakistan duo Wahab Riaz and Asif Ali this week.

Ali’s arrival would be hugely beneficial for the Blitz as once again their middle-order failed to shape up.

“It was just a bad day at the office. A lot of our dismissals were quite soft. But I think as we go on, we will get better as a batting unit. Obviously we batted really well (against the Jozi Stars) but then today … hopefully we can find the consistency in the team.

“Their attack is really suited to the Boland wicket. They took pace off the ball with Bjorn. I didn’t think it would be that slow. They bowled really well,” Blitz skipper De Kock said.