JOHANNESBURG – SuperSport Park is a ground Quinton de Kock knows intimately and has great affinity for and he utilised that knowledge and love to produce what he described as one of his “best knocks,”of his career on Saturday night.
The Cape Town Blitz had no right winning their match against the Tshwane Spartans after being 101/8 in the 14th over of their innings, let alone with a bonus point. That they did was solely down to De Kock, who produced one of the great T20 innings that this country witnessed.
“The wicket played quite nicely and I just tried to take advantage of that. This hundred will be remembered for a long time in my career,” said De Kock.
He was dismissed in the 19th over of the Blitz innings for 108, the second century in the Mzansi Super League just 24 hours after Reeza Hendricks had registered the first for the Jozi Stars at the Wanderers.
It was a remarkable performance by De Kock who bore witness to a catastrophic collapse by his teammates which saw the Blitz slump from 83/0 to 101/8 in the space of 25 balls.
There looked to be no coming back, but De Kock unleashed a calculated assault, relying on his terrific hand-eye co-ordination to manipulate the ball between fielders and in some cases over them to drag the Blitz back into the game.
He shared a 57-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Malusi Siboto, who scored just two runs in that stand and faced just nine balls, to illustrate just how superbly De Kock controlled that portion of the match.
There was little the Blitz could do and Corbin Bosch admitted it was scary running into De Kock in the latter stages of the visiting innings. “He is a very intimidating batsman, one of the best in the world.
“You’ve really got to bring it to him and I think he sensed a bit of weakness in a couple of us and took full advantage of that,” said Bosch.
In all De Kock faced just 55 balls, hitting 10 fours and five sixes. The only other Blitz batsmen to get double figures was De Kock’s opening partner Janneman Malan who made 34 - the rest of the Blitz batsmen combined scored 23 runs.
Dean Elgar’s 37 was the top score in a dreary batting effort from the Spartans, with superstar AB de Villiers making just seven, although he was unfortunate to be bowled after inside edging the ball onto his thigh and then watching as it ricocheted and then slow hit the stumps.
Mohammed Nawaz, who scored a game changing 59 when the two teams met at Newlands in the opening game, proved a thorn in the Spartans side again on Saturday, with the ball this time picking up 3/14 - two of his victims being Proteas Test players Elgar and Theunis de Bruyn.
Saturday’s win all but secures the Blitz a play-off spot and their target now will be to ensure they finish atop the table to earn the right to host the final in two weeks’ time.@shockerhess