Opening batsman Janneman Malan outdid fellow Proteas cricketer Reeza Hendricks, as 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’s 99 not out from a mere 59 deliveries featured 11 fours and a quartet of sixes in a final total of 213/3 in the allotted 20 overs. He again reminded the national selectors of impressive limited-overs credentials, ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Hendricks spearheaded the Stars’ pursuit, but eventually fell for 80 from 53, 11 fours and a six included. His departure afforded fast bowler Dale Steyn a third wicket, two of which were taken thanks to solid catches from fielder Sisanda Magala.
Magala belied a hefty frame with some superb athleticism under a couple of skiers – and clinched the key wicket of the dangerous Ryan Rickelton as well. Steyn, too, celebrated the removal of West Indian big-hitter Chris Gayle.
The Stars ended with an insufficient 198/5. They are the reigning champions, after beating the Blitz in last year’s inaugural final at Newlands.
The Durban Heat Heat will host the Tshwane Spartans at Kingsmead on Saturday. The Blitz will visit the Paarl Rocks at Boland Park – and the Stars will play the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in Port Elizabeth – on Sunday.