The Tshwane Spartans collected a tight four-wicket victory over the Paarl Rocks in Wednesday’s Mzansi Super League fixture at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
The result, though, didn’t translate to movement in the tournament’s six-team standings. The Spartans remain in fifth position, while the Rocks retain fourth.
Captain Faf du Plessis would have anticipated better after winning the toss and opting to bat first, but the Rocks only managed 121 all out in 17.4 overs. Opener Cameron Delport’s return, after a brief stint in Sharjah’s T10 League, didn’t help.
He scored just one, but West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo – also back from Sharjah – dug deep for a fighting 25. Bravo was well supported by Du Plessis’ commanding 38, but impetus was severely lacking elsewhere.
Seamer Lutho Sipamla and leg-spinner Shaun von Berg proved the pick of the Tshwane bowlers, sharing six key wickets. Sri Lanka spinner Jeevan Mendis weighed in with another two to retain his status as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker.
The Spartans’ chase was initially hampered by the early departure of opener Dean Elgar. Wicketkeeper-batsman Gihan Cloete and recent replacement Andrea Agathangelou, who has been added to the squad in the absence of the injured Theunis de Bruyn, put the pursuit back on track.
The reintroduction of wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi kept the contest alive, as he took three wickets in quick succession. Shamsi’s haul included the big-ticket removals of England’s Eoin Morgan and former Proteas talisman AB de Villiers.
However, old hand Robbie Frylinck was ultimately at hand to ensure triumph with three deliveries to spare.