5 Feel-good moments from the opening weekend of the Mzansi T20 League
1. Janneman gives us all hope
With the spotlight focused firmly on the strength of South Africa’s domestic competitions, and the young players its producing, it was encouraging to see the performance of Cape Town Blitz opener Janneman Malan. Malan thoroughly deserved a century in the tournament opener against the Jozi Stars on Friday, and should only get better the longer he gets to bat with Proteas superstar Quinton de Kock. With the World T20 set to played on Australia’s hard pitches next year, he should definitely come into consideration if he maintains this early form.
2. The oldies still have it
The myth that T20 cricket is a young man’s game has long been dispelled, but watching the likes of Dale Steyn, Chris Morris and Imran Tahir show the youngsters that there is plenty left in the tank was particularly pleasing. In a match where over 400 runs were scored at “The Bullring” on Friday, and bowlers regularly conceding over 10 runs per over, Steyn ran in with gusto to turn the game in the Blitz’ favour with 3/25. Equally, Morris and Tahir were miserly in Port Elizabeth to keep the defending champions, the Stars, winless after two games.
3. Reeza doing his thing
The Stars may have suffered a stuttering start to the defence of their title, but it certainly hasn’t been any fault of Reeza Hendricks. The Proteas opener was a run machine in last year’s Mzansi Super League and he has simply continued where he left off. Two half-centuries in the opening two matches this season places him comfortably on top of the run-scorers list.
4. Spin is king in T20
The advent of T20 cricket has been recognised as the re-birth of spin bowling, particularly wrist spinners, but it seems its any variety that turns the ball away for the right-handers. Left-armers George Linde and Bjorn Fortuin were superb for Paarl Rocks against the Blitz on Sunday, while left-wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi showed his value too.
5. Boland Park rocks on
The Rocks know how to throw a party and they were at it again on Sunday in the Cape derby against the Blitz. From the moment you enter the Winelands town, there is a feeling that you are now in “Purple Town” with Rocks banners lining the Main Street. The gees is carried through to the stadium with a DJ that simply never stops. Definitely the success story of Mzansi Super League.