Captain Quinton de Kock appreciates the superb performances of batsman Janneman Malan and bowler Dale Steyn, after the Cape Town Blitz beat the Jozi Stars by 15 runs in the opening fixture of the 2019 Mzansi Super League at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday.
Malan hit a solid 99 not out in a final total of 213-3, after which Steyn claimed three key wickets to limit the Stars to 198-5. The result was revenge, of sorts, after the Blitz lost last year’s final to the Stars.
‘We just wanted to come here and show the other teams what we are about. We wanted to stamp our authority. I was just tagging along [with] Janneman, as he was flying along. The guys batted superbly,’ said De Kock, who shared a 72-run partnership with Malan inside seven overs.
‘When Dale picked up a wicket, we spoke about it being time to step it up. That’s what I asked for, that’s what I got. It’s great to get over the line. I am still getting used to captaining, but as I am starting to get older, I am slowly becoming a leader, whether I am captain or not.’
The hard-hitting Malan was named Player of the Match for a near century that spanned just 59 balls, featuring 11 fours and four sixes. He had the opportunity to reach three figures during the closing throes of the Blitz’s innings, but missed seamer Dan Christian’s final delivery.
‘It was good fun and compliments to my partners. I could just get one and a boundary. It would have been fun to get the extra run, but I am not too bothered about it. Credit, too, to Dale – he wasn’t really supposed to do so well on this wicket,’ added Malan.
Defeated captain Temba Bavuma was understandably disappointed with the result, but pleased to be playing with the Stars after leaving the Durban Heat.
‘Our confidence is not dented as a team and I haven’t felt much pressure. It’s nice to be back in Johannesburg, back at home, playing with guys I am familiar with. There is responsibility captaining the defending champions, but its also about having fun,’ he concluded.