FILE - Paarl Rocks captain Faf du Plessis. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
FILE - Paarl Rocks captain Faf du Plessis. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Paarl Rocks and Tshwane Spartans look forward to Boland sunshine

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Nov 16, 2019

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CAPE TOWN - Both teams will be looking forward to hopefully some Boland sunshine in their Mzansi Super League clash on Sunday.

Hosts, the Paarl Rocks had their last match against the Durban Heat at Kingsmead abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The Tshwane Spartans are even more frustrated after both their MSL 2.0 matches were washed out before a result was forthcoming.

They may possibly have been on the fortunate side in their last game, with the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants reducing the Spartans to 33/4 when a thunderstorm brought a sudden close to proceedings at SuperSport Park.

However, AB de Villiers was still at the crease and everyone knows what "Mr 360" can achieve if he finds his rhythm.

The Rocks will certainly hope that De Villiers and the rest of the Spartans are still a bit ring-rusty having not completed a game yet. Besides De Villiers, the batting unit still possess match-winners like Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar and Vaughn van Jaarsveld.

It is, however, the Centurion-based team's bowling unit that is their most fearsome weapon. England World Cup winner Tom Curran has arrived fresh from national duty in New Zealand. He will add further dynamite to a potent attack, already consisting of Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi and Lutho Sipamla.

The Boland Park surface, which offered great assistance to the Rocks slow bowlers last week, may cause a reshuffle of the Spartans plans though, with Afghanistani rookie Waqar Salamkheil possibly up for selection.

The home side will also have a World Cup winner in their ranks on Sunday. James Vince was on the same flight with Curran from New Zealand and will add much needed depth to the Rocks batting line-up.

Although the Rocks crushed their neighbours, Cape Town Blitz last Sunday, they have been playing with a batsman short after Aiden Markram and JP Duminy suffered injuries prior to the tournament.

It will help that Vince was in good form in New Zealand with the Hampshire captain smashing 59 from 38 balls at Christchurch's Hagley Oval last week.

The Rocks certainly won't change their bowling strategy, which places a heavy reliance on slow bowlers Bjorn Fortuin and Tabraiz Shamsi. Equally, pace bowlers Hardus Viljoen, Isuru Udana and Ferisco Adams will look to take pace off the ball through their off-cutters.

All of this may come to nothing if De Villiers strikes form at a ground he particularly enjoys playing at, but there's no doubt his life-long friend and Rocks captain Faf du Plessis would have hatched a plan to keep him at bay.

Start: 2pm; TV: SABC 3


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