Back-to-back wins for the Cape Town Blitz on Friday and Sunday set the seal on a superb start to their Mzansi Super League campaign.
After seeing off the Tshwane Spartans by 49-runs at Newlands, the Blitz snuck home against the Durban Heat in the last over, thanks largely to a blistering Asif Ali innings of 80 off 33 to see them to the top of the Mzansi Super League log.
‘We spoke before the match about momentum in this competition and every team will be trying to get that as quickly as possible. Getting two wins from two matches gives us the opportunity to get that momentum early in the competition,’ head coach Ashwell Prince said.
‘Asif Ali had one day’s preparation in the nets and the way he was striking the ball and some of the targets he set himself in practice – he set himself some massive targets to achieve – I sort of knew he has the ability to hit the ball a long way. We were a long way behind and he played an unbelievable innings,’ added Prince.
Prince also had special praise for Anrich Nortje and Malusi Siboto, the latter’s contributions going virtually unnoticed.
‘Anrich was sensational today. We knew in the draft what we were looking for – we wanted someone with pace and that makes him a wicket-taking threat. When you have that pace and the batsmen get any sort of bat on it, it’s going to fly to the boundary but there are a lot more positives than negatives.
‘I am absolutely happy for Malusi [Siboto]. He has been outstanding in both matches. He is an experienced player who can hit the seam and can change up his pace. When you watch him train and he goes off on his own to work on specific skills, you can just see that he is a thorough professional trying to be the best he can be,’ said Prince.
The Cape Town Blitz squad is set to be bolstered by the return of captain Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock and Andile Phehlukwayo, all of whom join the squad after returning from the Proteas’ tour of Australia.
‘There are going to be some tough selection decisions to be made but it is also exciting to have the Proteas, who are unbelievable cricketers in this format,’ added Prince.
Despite the unbeaten start to the competition, Prince still feels there are areas that need to be improved.
‘It’s tough to be overly critical after two good wins but we have a couple of days before the next game where myself, Faiek Davids and Paul Adams will be looking to see which areas we might need to improve,’ he concluded.
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images