Australian batsman Ben Dunk welcomed the Player of the Match accolade, after the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants beat the Tshwane Spartans by six wickets in Tuesday’s Mzansi Super League fixture at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
Dunk struck an unbeaten 99 in the Giants’ successful pursuit of a 189-run target with two deliveries to spare. His stay spanned a mere 54 balls and was lined with 10 fours and four sixes.
The score marked the highest by a Giants batsman in the brief history of the MSL. It, too, is the highest of his T20 career. Dunk previously amassed 96 for the Hobart Hurricanes against the Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Big Bash League.
‘It was tricky early on and I also got some luck there,’ said Dunk, who was dropped four times en route to the near century.
‘I’d like to say it was a tough track to get started on, but the Spartans bowled well.’
Dunk praised middle-order batsman Marco Marais, who struck a brisk 38 not out during an unbroken 86-run alliance.
‘We tried to hang in there until the back end and Marais played a beautiful innings to get us across the line. I don’t think we would have gotten home if not for him,’ added Dunk.
‘That was a really special innings from Marais there, to come in and straightaway play the way he did at the back end. It is a treat to see this young South African talent coming up.’