Gihahn Cloete’s third half-century of the campaign helped the Tshwane Spartans secure a 28-run victory against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.
It was a crucial clash for the Tshwane Spartans. AB de Villiers’ side needed to win their remaining games, including a bonus-point win to keep themselves in the hunt for a play-off spot. The Giants needed a win to seal a play-off spot.
The Spartans managed 165-4, thanks to a solid 65 from Gihahn Cloete and cameo 30-run scores from Dean Elgar (32) and De Villiers (33).
It was a crucial knock from the 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, who struck five fours and two sixes for his 59-ball knock.
On a pitch that statistically favours sides who have scored 150-plus totals the Spartans began the defence of their comfortable score.
The Giants stuttered during their chase. In 10 overs, they found themselves five down for 71 runs. They started off unsteadily, but Andrew Birch, Lutho Sipamla and the MSL’s leading wicket-taker Jeevan Mendis gave their side a grip on the contest.
Captain Jon-Jon Smuts looked in charge for his 26 off 17 balls, but the 20-year-old sensation Sipamla removed the dangerman in the sixth over.
Shaun von Berg was crucial to adding misery in the middle overs as the Giants collapsed.
Ben Duckett stood tall for his side and managed to score a 33-ball 47, but he was carelessly run out to hand the Spartans full control of the contest.
Despite finding themselves on 104-8 after 15 overs, Sisanda Magala looked keen to spoil the Spartans’ party and take his side past the 131-run mark to prevent the visitors from claiming a bonus point.
Magala (31) lost his wicket, but his side still managed to end on 137-9 to avoid giving away the bonus point.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images