For Eastern Cape homeboy Anrich Nortje,the Cape Town lights just seem to be brighter, the stadium a bit bigger and the crowds more expectant. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Port Elizabeth is only 750km from Cape Town. But the Eastern Cape city may as well be on a different continent for any young cricketer making the trip down south.

The lights just seem to be brighter, the stadium a bit bigger and the crowds more expectant.

But for both Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala, the two Cape Town Blitz fast bowlers from Uitenhage, they wouldn’t like it any other way.

Nortje enjoyed a taste last year during the inaugural Mzansi Super League when he fast developed into a Newlands favourite, and now Magala is equally excited to make his home debut tonight against the Jozi Stars.

“It is my first time away from PE,” Magala said yesterday. “I am definitely out of my comfort zone. But it’s been great. I am really enjoying it. You have guys like Quinny (de Kock) and Dale (Steyn) who have played plenty of international games. It is good to learn from them to see how they prepare and how they go about their business.”

Equally, Nortje is looking forward to charging in before the #BlitzBrigade again.

“I must say I have really enjoyed my time here. I enjoyed last year. It is just a lot of fun. It is completely different to what I am used to. It is very relaxed in a way. You can really go out there and express yourself. I enjoyed it last year, and been enjoying it again this year. I am obviously trying to put out a high standard as I can,” he said.

Both seamers will have crucial roles to play against the defending champions. Nortje came off second best in his duel with the dangerous Jozi Stars openers Chris Gayle and Reeza Hendricks last Friday in the tournament opener at the Wanderers, but will now go again and try to keep the duo quiet during the Powerplay overs.

In contrast, Magala’s duty is to keep a lid on proceedings at the back-end of the innings, and the burly fast bowler played a pivotal role in closing out the match in favour of the Blitz. He seemed settled with his plans, delivering both his yorkers and slow-balls on point as last season’s runners-up gained early revenge for their loss in the 2018 final.

“At the Warriors, I would normally have two or three plans and go about my business. But because it is a new environment, you are more flexible in your planning and field-setting. Newlands and PE are also different grounds, the wickets don’t play the same. But you just have to adapt and do your best in order to bring the best out of a situation,” he said.

Nortje is certainly eager to grow his partnership with Magala, while the Blitz also have Steyn in their ranks. The trio will be further boosted with the arrival of Pakistan left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz for this evening’s clash.

“It is great to have him (Magala) here. Like he said, it’s his first time out of PE. Last year was my first time out of PE. It was such an eye-opener for me. I think we have such a great bowling attack. Everyone compliments each other. There is not a guy where you think maybe this guy can go for runs. Everyone backs each other,” Nortje added.

* Tickets for the Cape Town Blitz v Jozi Stars are selling for only R30!



Cape Times

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