A Giants outfit driven to finish in the top three will be up against a Tshwane outfit that has to win with a bonus point to stay in contention for a play-off berth as the Mzansi Super League returns to St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
Captain Jon-Jon Smuts is fully aware of the importance of winning at home – and will need kingpin batsmen Ben Duckett and Jason Roy, and leg-spinner Imran Tahir help him walk the talk. The Giants should have the beating of a Spartans team lacking consistency, but certainly don’t wish to be lashed by an opposition with effectively nothing to lose.
The last time these teams met was almost two weeks ago, when rain robbed the Spartans of a challenging pursuit. On the other hand, the Spartans bowlers weren’t able to have a full go against the team from Tshwane. This fixture, then, is an opportunity to remedy both.
With just three wins in seven attempts to show for their campaign so far, time is running out for the Spartans. Three of AB de Villiers’ last four innings have ended in single figures, which is a concern for a batting order evidently reliant on the former Proteas talisman.
There’s always Eoin Morgan in the middle and Dean Elgar at the top, though. Old hands like Robbie Frylinck and Rory Kleinveldt, meanwhile, will be key in this ‘make or break’ match. They both bring plenty of experience in the shortest format – and it’ll all be needed come Saturday. If there is a Giants weakness to explore, Frylinck can find it with bat or ball.
The Giants will likely gather that top-three finish they long for, alongside the Cape Town Blitz and Jozi Stars, but only if they are able to quieten the Spartans ambition to come from behind.