The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants beat the Cape Town Blitz by five wickets in Wednesday’s Mzansi Super League fixture at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
The result moved the Giants to first position in the 2019 tournament’s six-team standings, while the Blitz slipped to second place. The Tshwane Spartans, Paarl Rocks, Durban Heat and Jozi Stars are currently placed third, fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Chasing a 187-run target, the Giants were inspired by captain Jon-Jon Smuts, who struck a commanding 73 from 51 deliveries. The score marked the highest for the franchise this season, surpassing the 50 not out wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Dunk collected against the Stars last week.
Smut was well supported by middle-order maestro Marco Marais, who hit 40 not out from 20. All-rounder Chris Morris was ultimately at hand to strike the final runs, sealing victory with four deliveries to spare.
A visiting bowling attack spearheaded by Proteas pace aces Dale Steyn and Anrich Nortje – and Pakistani seamer Wahab Riaz – was entirely undone by Smuts and Marais’ individual collective enterprise.
Earlier, the Blitz moved to 186-9, but effectively fell short of a 200-plus total, particularly after openers Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock added 72 inside seven overs for the first wicket.
The Spartans and Heat will meet at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.