Paarl Rocks are the new champions of the Mzansi Super League 2.0 after defeating Tshwane Spartans by 8 wickets at the Boland Stadium in Paarl .Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Paarl Rocks are the new champions of the Mzansi Super League 2.0 after defeating Tshwane Spartans by 8 wickets at the Boland Stadium in Paarl .Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Paarl Rocks are the new champions of the Mzansi Super League 2.0 after defeating Tshwane Spartans by 8 wickets at the Boland Stadium in Paarl .Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Paarl Rocks are the new champions of the Mzansi Super League 2.0 after defeating Tshwane Spartans by 8 wickets at the Boland Stadium in Paarl .Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Paarl Rocks are the new champions of the Mzansi Super League 2.0 after defeating Tshwane Spartans by 8 wickets at the Boland Stadium in Paarl .Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Paarl Rocks are the new champions of the Mzansi Super League 2.0 after defeating Tshwane Spartans by 8 wickets at the Boland Stadium in Paarl .Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

PAARL - Paarl Rocks captain Faf du Plessis likened star man Henry Davids to a good bottle of red wine after he tore into the Tshwane Spartans attack in the Mzansi Super League (MSL) final on Monday to help them win the second edition of the competition at Boland Park.

The 39-year-old clobbered the quickest half-century of the campaign in the deciding match of 2019 as the hosts won by eight wickets, fittingly in the Cape Winelands.

Chasing a modest target – kept to 148 thanks to outstanding bowling by Tabraiz Shamsi (2/29) and Isuru Udana (2/24) – veteran Davids blew away the bowling with 77 off 44 balls (eight fours, four sixes), including a 22-ball 50, as the Rocks won with more than five overs to spare.

“Henry is like a good bottle of red wine; he just gets better the later the tournament goes and with age,” Du Plessis said. “I was very proud of his performance tonight.

“And once again it was a different guy standing up and putting in a good performance, which has been the case pretty much in every game this season. It’s an unbelievable team performance.”

Paarl Rocks fans celebrating after their teams were crowned champions after defeating Tshwane Spartans by 8 wickets at the Boland Stadium in Paarl .Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Du Plessis surprised most by opting to bowl first after winning the toss in front of a sell-out crowd. But his bowlers, led by Shamsi and Udana, all fired.

Only AB de Villiers managed to trouble the home side with his 51 off 37 balls (three fours, one six).

“I know our attack pretty well and we’re a very good attack when it comes to taking pace off the ball,” the skipper explained. “I expected it to be a touch slower in the first innings and then hopefully at night the ball just starts skidding on. That’s exactly what happened.”

Davids then led a dominant showing for his side, and, with help coming from Dwaine Pretorius (43 off 20 balls), the home side won with 34 deliveries to spare.

It was a superb effort by a team not given too much of chance considering the injuries that have hit them, but they were galvanised excellently by the national captain and coach Adrian Birrell, to take the title from the inaugural winners, the Jozi Stars.

“To finish the way we did was great. I though the last two games were our best games of the campaign,” Du Plessis added. “That’s what you want to do towards the end.

“There were fantastic team performances right the way through. We’ve lost a lot of so-called ‘name players’ along the way and the fact that all the guys just got together as a team and everyone chipped in on different occasions…it was a remarkable team effort.

“The standard of the MSL was very good and it’s important that we make sure this is a big priority for South African cricket.

“The talent that’s on display, the cricket that’s on display, overseas players and also the South African players. You don’t see that in a lot of tournaments where all your internationals are playing. Guys are bowling at AB de Villiers and it doesn’t get better than that.” 

African News Agency (ANA)