JOHNNESBURG – So the Cape Town Blitz’s perfect start in the Mzansi Super League continues - played four, won four, two of this wins coming with a bonus point. Already, barely a week into the tournament, they’ve virtually confirmed a play-off spot.
They dominated this encounter, widely billed as a battle between the quick bowlers in the respective attacks. And the outcome of that battle was summed up in one stat - the Jozi Stars had to use four different balls to complete the Blitz’s innings after three were hit out of the stadium. The Blitz used just one.
The Stars simply got their bowling plans wrong and then didn’t adjust properly until it was too late. The location of the pitch didn’t help the bowlers. It was to the far right as one looked from Long Room, making for an extremely short boundary towards the scoreboard.
Blitz openers Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan deposited balls into and in one case over the adjacent block of flats. The Stars bowlers all struggled with their length, dropping far too many short allowing the Blitz batsmen to free their arms.
De Kock loved it. He’s been struggling for form of late at international level and perhaps this innings will help to get his season started. Not all the hitting was clean - it didn’t have to be when directing balls to the eastern terrace - but those slices of luck were put to good use in a thoroughly entertaining innings at what was once his home ground.
He needed just 36 balls for his 74, smashing nine fours and five sixes sharing a partnership of 99 with Malan.
The 22 year old Malan showed some good maturity, initially happy to simply feed De Kock the strike, but once his more senior partner was out he took to the Stars attack with relish. A long hop from leg-spinner Eddie Leie was hammered onto and then over the roof of the neighbouring flats and another six, this time off Kagiso Rabada cleared the main scoreboard.