Go­ing gets tougher for lead­ers Blitz

• Cape Town team geared up for The Rocks on Fri­day

Business Day - - Front Page - Khany­iso Tsh­waku

Get­ting to the Mzansi Su­per League sum­mit has been rel­a­tively easy for the Cape Town Blitz. Stay­ing there has been an­other mat­ter‚ es­pe­cially after the hid­ing at the hands of the Jozi Stars on Tues­day.

Get­ting League rel­a­tively to sum­mit easy the Mzansi for has the Su­per Cape been Town an­other Stay­ing Blitz. mat­ter‚ there es­pe­cially has been after the Stars hid­ing on Tues­day. at the hands of the Jozi The Blitz are pretty much sorted from a play-off per­spec­tive. Their 25 points elim­i­nates Dur­ban Heat‚ whose tour­na­ment ended on Wed­nes­day after rain cur­tailed their cru­cial home game against the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Gi­ants. The Tsh­wane Spar­tans (10)‚ who nar­rowly beat the Paarl Rocks at Su­per­Sport Park on Wed­nes­day, need to win their last three matches with bonus points to fin­ish first.

The Rocks (13)‚ who the Blitz host on Fri­day at New­lands‚ can math­e­mat­i­cally still fin­ish first if they col­lect a 15-point full house. To do that‚ they will have to beat their Cape neigh­bours‚ who could and should be bet­ter after Tues­day’s hid­ing.

The Blitz’s home de­feat against the Stars brought home the real­i­ties of T20 cricket and its fluc­tu­a­tions. On Satur­day‚ they recorded a dou­ble against the Spar­tans through a 60-run win in Cen­tu­rion. They had beaten the Spar­tans by 49 runs in the tour­na­ment’s open­ing game while they crushed the Stars by 62 runs on Novem­ber 24. The Blitz have the sig­nif­i­cant mat­ter of the Cape Derby to deal with and their cap­tain Farhaan Be­har­dien said there is go­ing to be pres­sure on ev­ery team to per­form. “There’s more pres­sure with ev­ery game now‚ es­pe­cially at this stage of the tour­na­ment. Ev­ery­thing is in our hands now and we have to come They ’ ll out be fight­ing here on tooth Fri­day and night. nail and so will we. Hope­fully we come out on top on Fri­day‚” Be­har­dien said

“What’s re­ally ev­i­dent in this tour­na­ment is that there’s a lot of pres­sure on ev­ery­body. “Ev­ery­body is try­ing to find some of their rhythm and the Stars seem to have found theirs. We thought they were a bat­ter light and if we could sneak a few quick wick­ets up­front ... even though we were bowl­ing well‚ we didn’t pick up a wicket.”

The de­feat to Stars was their sec­ond of the sea­son‚ but Be­har­dien said they are not about to change what has been work­ing for them. How­ever‚ he said their mid­dle or­der needs to come to the party and de­liver. That in­cludes him in their top-or­der. Their bowl­ing has done most of the heavy lift­ing in the eight games so far.

“We don’t want to com­pli­cate things. We’ve lost a cou­ple of games but we’ve won a few games. Yes, the mid­dle or­der hasn ’ t come to the party and that ’ s ev­i­dent. When the time comes and when it mat­ters most‚ we’ll be able to put our hands up and the sit­u­a­tion will present it­self‚” Be­har­dien said.

“Our bowl­ing has been spo­ton for seven of the eight games and that ’ s the na­ture of the game. It could have been Chris Gayle’s night with him scor­ing runs and Reeza Hen­dricks fail­ing, but that’s the na­ture of the game. It’s ruth­less and some­times you have to take the hid­ing and ac­cept the other team played bet­ter cricket.”

/Carl Fourie/Gallo Im­ages

On the mark: Cape Town Blitz cap­tain Farhaan Be­har­dien says the pres­sure is mount­ing on all the teams at this stage of the Mzansi Su­per League tour­na­ment.

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