Nelson Mandela Bay Giants head coach Eric Simons is understandably wary of the threat posed by Tshwane Spartans batsman AB de Villiers, ahead of Friday’s Mzansi Super League qualifier at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
The winner contest Monday’s final against the Paarl Rocks at Boland Park.
De Villiers boasts plenty of experience in T20 domestic cricket around the world, including fruitful stints in the Indian Premier League. He will also play in Australia’s Big Bash League early next year.
‘They’re a strong side and any team that includes AB will be. He’s able to win a match on his own and then it’s just not him alone, there’s a number of players in their line-up who are quality players,’ said Simons.
‘They’ve got a good bowling attack as well, so they’re a well-balanced team, so it’s just important that we do the basics right.
‘We’re obviously happy to be in this situation. I suppose like in any tournament you can look back and go, missed opportunities, what we could have done differently and what we could have done better because that’s what you naturally do as a sportsman.
We finished level on points as the team that finished top, so you have to be happy. I think just being part of the knockouts, that’s the most important thing.’
The Giants are still without batsman Farhaan Behardien, who has been sidelined by injury – and replaced in the squad by Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschat.