CAPE TOWN – Paarl Rocks captain Faf du Plessis is hoping Sunday’s nine-wicket victory over the Durban Heat will provide his team with the momentum to push for a playoff spot.
The victory propelled the Rocks to 13 points after six matches, which places the Paarl side in fourth position on the Mzansi Super League table. Only the Cape Town Blitz (25 points from seven matches), Nelson Mandela Giants (19 points from seven matches) and the Jozi Stars (15 points from six matches) are ahead of the Rocks.
Du Plessis’s form is integral to the Paarl Rocks’ challenge with the skipper contributing two half centuries in the two matches his team have won at home. On Sunday, Du Plessis adjusted to the conditions superbly to put together 76 not out off just of 48 balls. Although Du Plessis struck nine boundaries in his innings, the most impressive feature was his running between the wickets where he often turned singles into two’s to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
“I probably did a bit too much running for my liking yesterday, but it was good fun,” Du Plessis told Radio Good Hope on Monday morning.
The Rocks have a hectic week ahead with a trip up to the capital to face Tshwane Spartans on Wednesday at SuperSport Park before returning for the Western Cape derby with Cape Town Blitz on Friday evening at Newlands. The travelling continues, though, on Sunday where they are back in Johannesburg for another all-important encounter with Jozi Stars.
“The two top teams are a bit ahead of the rest of the pack. It is pretty much a fight for third spot. The next two/three games will be very important for us to push for that third place. We have Tshwane Spartans and then the big one against the Blitz on Friday night,” Du Plessis said.
Regardless of the outcomes of the next seven days, Du Plessis has certainly enjoyed his maiden MSL T20 season at Boland Park.
“It is lekker to play there. There is a fantastic atmosphere. We also spend a bit of time there making sure that we practise on the ground to maximise our home conditions,” he said.
“Obviously we are a team that’s not like the other teams who have a professional franchise based at their grounds, so we are unique in that way. But we spend a bit of time at the ground to make the most of our home venue.”