• Preview: Nelson Mandela Bay Giants vs Paarl Rocks

    Second place plays third as the Mzansi Super League returns to St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Friday. The Giants need to restart after their washout against the Cape Town Blitz, while the Rocks want to build on Wednesday’s win over the Durban Heat.

    Nelson Mandela Bay Giants

    The Giants’ last two matches have been affected by rain – and they’ll hope for a full contest against a Rocks outfit brimming with confidence on the back of consecutive victories. A lot will be required of Ben Duckett, Jon-Jon Smuts, Marco Marais and other batsmen to successfully combat an increasingly threatening Rocks bowling attack. Spinner Bjorn Fortuin and seamer Dane Paterson are proving a solid partnership, leaving Duckett and company with a hefty challenge indeed.

    Paarl Rocks

    The Rocks have seemed an entirely different team since the return of captain Faf du Plessis from Australia. He has brought tactical insight not previously displayed – and stand-in skipper Henry Davids has been freed to perform in his primary role with the bat. Du Plessis, too, has declared his intent to show the tournament that the Rocks can win away from Boland Park as well – and the need to walk the talk starts now.


    We’ve seen the Tshwane Spartans trial Corbin Bosch as a pinch-hitter and the Jozi Stars push Dan Christian up the order. Neither of these moves really worked, but the Rocks’ willingness to open the bowling with Fortuin is a sound choice – and might be witnessed on Friday again.


    Had this match been played earlier in the tournament, the Giants would be firm favourites. But the Rocks have progressed and galvanised since – and should take this one comfortably.

    Where to next

    The Giants will stay in Port Elizabeth to face the Jozi Stars. The Rocks will return home to clash with the Durban Heat. Both fixtures will take place on Sunday.

    Image: Gallo

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