• AB rides the pressure with Van Biljon

    Player of the Match AB de Villiers lauded the support of sidekick Pite van Biljon, after the Tshwane Spartans beat the Jozi Stars by 20 runs in the Mzansi Super League on Sunday.

    The Spartans posted a final total of 155-6 on the back of De Villiers’ 53 and Van Biljon’s 45, after which the Stars slipped to 135 all out at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

    ‘It was a lot of fun after a stressful start. It was tough to start off with, but got easier. Pite took a lot of pressure off me, so I knew I could accelerate – and partnerships between experienced players always helps,’ said De Villiers.

    ‘I was trying to survive and play to their field until towards the end. I wasn’t focusing on the shorter boundaries. It was more about watching the ball.’

    The Spartans won despite a characteristically brisk half-century from Stars opener Chris Gayle. The hard-hitting left-hander’s last match for the franchise this season yielded 54 from 27.

    ‘We bowled badly to Gayle in the powerplay, but got the wickets in the back end. If we can keep raising the bar, it’ll be difficult to stop us,’ added triumphant captain Heinrich Klaasen.

    Defeated captain Temba Bavuma suggested the Stars were too hasty in pursuing a bonus point. From 122-3, they lost their last seven wickets for just 13 runs.

    ‘We set it up well in the batting, but we kind of let it slip. We got ahead of ourselves. Maybe just securing a win would have been wiser. Our performances haven’t been good enough,’ rued Bavuma.

    Photo: BackPagePix

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