Nelson Mandela Bay Giants comfortably won their opening match of the Mzansi Super League over the power-packed Jozi Stars by five wickets with 12 balls to spare.
Chris Gayle got the innings off to a flying start with some lusty blows, before he was trapped leg-before off his toe after scoring 23 off 19 balls (4×4, 1×6).
Rassie van der Dussen (23 off 19 balls, 1×4, 1×6) looked good at the crease before also being trapped leg before while sweeping a ball that hit him on the chest, although ball tracking indicated that the ball was likely to clip the top of his leg stump.
The Giants middle-order crumbled, with captain Dane Vilas shepherding his charges through to 124-7 off their 20 overs, finishing with 38 off 34 balls (2×4).
Giants skipper Jon-Jon Smuts had the Midas Touch with the ball, taking 3-20 (econ 5.00) to reduce the Stars from 71-3 to 86-6 and pull the anchor on their innings, while Ryan McLaren took 2-22.
Having enjoyed the Midas Touch through the previous 20 overs, Giants captain Jon-Jon Smuts went big off the fifth ball of the innings, succeeding only in skying a catch which Van der Dussen held onto superbly at mid-on.
The promising Marco Marais also fell for a duck, albeit with the score on 27, but England’s Ben Duckett produced a powerful and dynamic innings of 75 off 45 balls, with five fours and five sixes, as he took the Giants to 109-5 off 14.3 overs, in the process earning the Player of the Match honours.
The Giants took the path of least resistance, avoiding the push for a bonus point by pragmatically plodding through for a well-earned victory by five wickets with two overs to spare.
For the Stars, Beuran Hendricks bowled superbly, giving the batters plenty to think about in returning figures of 4-1-13-2 (econ 3.25), while Eddie Leie bowled with plenty of fire to for his return of two wickets for 25 runs.
Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix