CRUSH­ING WIN

Gi­ants re­pel Rocks at­tack

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Front Page - Alvin Reeves [email protected]­soblack­star.co.za

Cap­tain Coura­geous Jon-Jon Smuts took three cru­cial wick­ets as the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Gi­ants con­tin­ued their good form by beat­ing Paarl Rocks by 48 runs in their Mzansi Su­per League cricket match at St Ge­orge’s Park on Fri­day.

Chas­ing 169 for vic­tory, the Rocks could only man­age 120 all out in re­ply as left-arm spin­ner Smuts took three for 17, which in­cluded the big wick­ets of Ai­den Markram and Vaughn van Jaarsveld.

Proteas bats­man Markram made a classy 50 off only 39 balls with five fours and a six, but he lacked the nec­es­sary sup­port after cap­tain Faf du Plessis was dis­missed for only seven by Chris Mor­ris.

David Wiese did add 18 and Man­gal­iso Mosehle scored 16, but for the rest it was a bad day at the of­fice.

Sisanda Ma­gala also bowled su­perbly, tak­ing three mid­dle­and lower-or­der wick­ets for 17 runs in his three overs.

The bonus-point win con­sol­i­dated the Gi­ants’ se­cond spot on the log and brought them to within one point of the log-lead­ing Cape Town Blitz.

Ear­lier, it was Kuhn who was the shin­ing light in the home side’s in­nings, stroking an at­trac­tive half-cen­tury.

Skip­per Smuts won the toss and had no hes­i­ta­tion in tak­ing first strike on a very good play­ing sur­face.

And Smuts’s de­ci­sion was vin­di­cated as Marco Marais hit the first two de­liv­er­ies of the day from off­spin­ner Markram for four and six re­spec­tively.

Marais was in a bel­liger­ent mood, car­ry­ing on with that ag­gres­sive ap­proach.

He reached 20 off 10 balls with three fours and a six be­fore be­ing bowled try­ing to heave left-arm spin­ner Bjorn For­tuin for six.

English­man Ben Duck­ett played some de­light­ful re­verse sweeps for four and six but he, too, fell play­ing one too many ex­pan­sive shots.

There were a few more starts for the Gi­ants as Smuts added 21 and Chris­ti­aan Jonker, who had been strug­gling for runs, made a run-aball 23.

But it was Kuhn who stole the show for the Gi­ants with his cru­cial in­nings.

For­tuin and fast bowler Dane Pater­son each took two wick­ets for the Rocks.

The Gi­ants’ next game is at home to the Jozi Stars at St Ge­orge’s Park on Sun­day at 3.30pm, while the Rocks travel back to Paarl to host the Dur­ban Heat.

An­other win for the Gi­ants on Sun­day could wrap up a play­off spot win with three matches left to play against Dur­ban Heat (away), Tsh­wane Spar­tans (home) and Paarl Rocks (away).

Mean­while, Cape Town Blitz coach Ash­well Prince is hop­ing his team can ex­ploit the in­ex­pe­ri­ence in the Tsh­wane Spar­tans’ seam bowl­ing at­tack when the teams meet at Su­perS­port Park on Satur­day.

The clash is a re­match of the tour­na­ment open­ing fix­ture at New­lands a fort­night ago, when the Blitz emerged vic­to­ri­ous in the “North v South” derby.

Pho­to­graph: FREDLIN ADRI­AAN

HAPPY DAYS: NMB Gi­ants cap­tain Jon-Jon Smuts, right, and Aaron Phangiso cel­e­brate an­other wicket

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