Nelson Mandela Bay Giants coach Eric Simons believes his team’s ability to stay calm in the tense moments will stand them in good stead in the Mzansi Super League play-off against the Tshwane Spartans today. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants coach Eric Simons believes his team’s ability to stay calm in the tense moments will stand them in good stead in the Mzansi Super League play-off against the Tshwane Spartans today. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Cool and calm Giants ready for Spartans

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Dec 13, 2019

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Nelson Mandela Bay Giants coach Eric Simons believes his team’s ability to stay calm in the tense moments will stand them in good stead in the Mzansi Super League play-off against the Tshwane Spartans today.

The Giants fell just short of automatic qualification for a home play-off when they lost to the Paarl Rocks last Sunday at Boland Park.

It was a bitter pill for the Port Elizabeth side to swallow, but Simons believes his team have put that behind them and are ready for the Spartans’ challenge.

“As a sportsman it is only natural to look back at what you could have done differently or could have done better,” Simons said.

“We missed a trick on Sunday, I think we should have and could have beaten them but that’s the way it goes and now we will just have to do it the hard way.

“Looking ahead to Friday’s game, the Tshwane Spartans are a strong side. But it is just important that we do the basics right. I think that’s what we did wrong on Sunday, we didn’t get our basics right, we didn’t stay calm under pressure, bat or ball.

“We did that well against the Spartans last time. They got off to a good start, but we pulled them back with some really good bowling and we chased a big score by staying calm and sticking to the plan,” Simons added.

The key to the Giants’ success has been the performances of their experienced players.

Ben Dunk and Jon-Jon Smuts have been good with the bat, while Imran Tahir and Chris Morris have excelled with the ball.

Although Dunk, in particular, relishes the “old heads” in the team, he values the energy that youngsters such as his opening partner Matthew Breetzke bring to the Giants.

“As a foreign player you’re always trying to do your best and have a positive influence over the entire team, regardless of how experienced the guys are.

“I have played a lot of cricket but I still feel like I am learning and I have really enjoyed my time here,” Dunk said.

The Spartans certainly don’t have fond memories of the Australian after Dunk produced one of the most memorable performances in MSL history with his 54-ball unbeaten 99 when the team’s met at St George’s Park earlier this season.

The visitors will also be without England international Tom Curran, who has left for the Big Bash in Australia and will hope the experienced David Wiese can make an impact.

@ZaahierAdams 


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