CAPE TOWN – The Paarl Rocks will head into Wednesday’s final round-robin match at Boland Park against the Nelson Mandela Giants knowing that even a victory may not be enough to secure a passage into the playoffs.
The Rocks are currently on 17 points after nine matches, courtesy of four victories and five defeats. They trail the Giants by four points, who also currently boast a healthier run-rate of -0.223 compared to the Rocks’ -0.56.
A victory for the Rocks would, though, lift the Paarl side to level on 21 points with the Giants, while defeat would automatically see them out of the running. Faf du Plessis’ team would therefore need a bonus-point victory to lift them above the Giants.
However, the Rocks’ future remains uncertain pending the outcome of the Highveld derby between the Jozi Stars and Tshwane Spartans on Tuesday evening. A victory for the Stars at the Wanderers would benefit the Rocks as that would secure second spot for Jozi Stars.
A straight-out victory for Jozi Stars would lift them to 30 points, which would also secure home status for the playoff on Friday evening.
Conversely, a potential Spartans victory at the Bullring could open up the door for a number of permutations.
The Spartans would then move to 21 points – a bonus point victory would take them to 22 – leaving AB de Villiers’s team with the possibility of not only securing just a place in the playoffs, but even the chance of hosting it at SuperSport Park should they overcome the Durban Heat in their final game on Wednesday.
This outcome would leave the Rocks in the most vulnerable position as they would then be eliminated from the competition even if they beat the Giants at Boland Park on Wednesday evening.
Paarl Rocks all-rounder Grant Thompson is not giving up hope just yet though.
“It’s still all to play for in front of our home crowd who’ve been unbelievable throughout the competition,” Thomson said.
It is going to be epic in Paarl on Wednesday! https://t.co/7A8wVXld5K— Paarl Rocks (@Paarl_Rocks) December 10, 2018
1. Jozi Stars
A victory on Tuesday evening over the Spartans secures home playoff qualification. Defeat and they could possibly miss out altogether pending other results.
2. Nelson Mandela Giants
Victory over Paarl Rocks secures playoff qualification. Defeat and they could possibly miss out altogether pending other results.
3. Paarl Rocks
Victory over Giants puts them on 21 points. Unsure of qualification pending other results. Defeat automatically knocks the Rocks out of the playoff race.
4. Tshwane Spartans
Victory over the Jozi Stars and Durban Heat would push them up to 24 points and into contention for a playoff spot. Defeat in either match and they will be knocked out. @ZaahierAdams