• Marais navigating the step up

    Nelson Mandela Bay Giants batsman Marco Marais is enjoying the challenge of the step up from provincial competition to the Mzansi Super League.

    Marais was central to Border’s Africa T20 Cup campaign earlier this year, and this month is at the helm of an impressive Giants batting order.

    Opening the batting alongside captain Jon-Jon Smuts, he has shrugged off a couple of single-figure failures to record 42 and 47 in triumphs over the Durban Heat and Tshwane Spartans.

    ‘A lot of people have different opinions about the difference between semi-professional and franchise cricket‚ but I think the wickets are a lot quicker at this level,’ Marais was quoted as saying by Times Live.

    ‘In semi-professional cricket‚ you mostly face pace of about 120 to 130 kilometres per hour, but it is more about getting used to facing the more experienced fast bowlers.

    ‘The ball comes to the bat a lot quicker and you have to adjust. I would say as a batsman the pace is something to get use to.’

    The hard-hitting 25-year-old will probably be up against Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn again when the Giants meet the Cape Town Blitz at St George’s Park later this week.

    ‘It is amazing to be playing against players like AB de Villiers and Dale. It is amazing for the younger players‚ especially the guys who have not played a lot of franchise cricket‚ to get exposure to this level,’ he added.

    ‘I had to face Dale the other night, which wasn’t fun. I was thrown into the deep end because the coaches wanted to see if I can swim and fight for myself.’

    Image: Gallo

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