The Mzansi Super League stays in Paarl, where the Rocks and Stars will fight for their first win of the tournament.
Smarting from a tight defeat to the Tshwane Spartans, the Rocks will be eager to the right the wrongs of last week in front of their home crowd. They’ll probably won’t have Faf du Plessis in their ranks just yet, as he returns from South Africa’s limited-overs tour of Australia. Cameron Delport impressed in their competition opener – and is backed for more. The Paarl outfit, though, need more from West Indian recruit Dwayne Bravo.
All eyes will be on a team without Chris Gayle. He has headed off to the T10 League in the United Arab Emirates later this month – and whether or not Kagiso Rabada is stuck straight into the XI remains to be seen. Like du Plessis, his participation will be subject to a travel clearance of sorts. The Stars were largely inadequate against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at the Wanderers – and their batsmen in particular will have to quickly adapt to conditions expected to be significantly slower.
This will be the tournament’s first match on a weekday evening. While the weekend’s attendances weren’t amazing, they weren’t terrible either, bar Kingsmead’s pittance. Here’s another chance for the Paarl locals to justify Cricket South Africa’s decision to award the Western Cape two franchises and snub Free State for even one.
The Rocks almost got over the line against the Spartans. They lacked that little something extra with the ball then, which they will probably find a couple of days later – and resign the Johannesburg team to a second consecutive defeat.
Where to next
The Stars will head home to face the Cape Town Blitz at the Wanderers on Saturday, while the Rocks will face the Blitz, again in Paarl, 24 hours later.