The clash this evening at the Wanderers between the Jozi Stars and table-topping Cape Town Blitz is a tasty one even at this early point in the competition.
The Blitz have started rapidly, picking up three wins in the first week of the tournament with a variety of elements in the group working well.
The youth have certainly stepped to the fore in the shape of Kyle Verrynne, Anrich Nortjé and Janneman Malan. And while JP Duminy has unfortunately played no role on the field following shoulder surgery, in the job of scout he has provided valuable intelligence which has helped the Blitz acquire some explosive talent from Pakistan.
Mohammed Nawaz, Asif Ali and Hussain Tallat have all played critical roles in the Blitz’s season so far with Ali’s 80 off 33 balls helping to secure a narrow three-wicket win over the Durban Heat, while Tallat’s 2/7 aided the Blitz to close out the match against the Nelson Mandela Giants in midweek.
Dale Steyn, skipper Farhaan Behardien and Quinton de Kock provide valuable international experience making the Blitz one of the better balanced teams in the tournament.
The Jozi Stars don’t have that foreign mystery feel to them; their overseas signings include Chris Gayle and Dan Christian both proficient T20 “guns for hire”, while Simon Harmer and Dane Vilas are Kolpak contractees well known to SA audiences.
What they do have is an explosiveness on both sides of the ball; with the bat even in Gayle’s absence they tore into the Paarl Rocks in midweek thanks to half centuries from young Ryan Rikelton and Rassie van der Dussen, with the ball Beuran Hendricks, Eddie Leie and Harmer are all aggressive wicket-taking operators.
The coach Enoch Nkwe is able to add to that mix for today’s match by including his Proteas; Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius and Reeza Hendricks.
An obvious threesome to drop would be Pite van Biljon for Hendricks, Wihan Lubbe for Pretorius and Nono Pongolo for Rabada.
However, Nkwe said he would be leaving it up to the last minute to make a decision.@shockerhess