CAPE TOWN – Faf du Plessis promised throughout the Mzansi Super League that the Paarl Rocks had yet to play their “perfect” game. Well, they kept it for when it mattered most in a thoroughly one-sided final at Boland Park yesterday.
Bar one dropped catch, it was a clinical performance that saw the Rocks win by eight wickets to be crowned 2019 Mzansi Super League champions in front of their expectant capacity home crowd. And let’s not take the “Purple Army” for granted. They came out in their thousands, fully decked out in purple, and cheered on every stop in the field, every single turned into a two, and went absolutely ballistic when the ball went for a boundary or if a Tshwane Spartans wicket fell.
If ever the proverbial “12th man” counted for anything, the Rocks faithful showed how it should be done.
Du Plessis’ team were certainly inspired by the home support. They delivered a masterclass with the ball before following it up with some inventive strokeplay, particularly from local boy Henry Davids. Their ability to read the conditions quickly proved the difference on the day. Tabraiz Shamsi has been sensational for the Rocks throughout the tournament and delivered yet another superb performance with figures of 2/29. It should have been three scalps for the left-arm wrist-spinner, but Sibonelo Makhanya spilled a regulation chance on the deep mid-wicket boundary to gift AB de Villiers another chance.
Fortunately for the Rocks it was not overly generous with De Villiers only adding a further nine runs before falling for 51. It was the Spartans’ only punch they threw all day. That was in complete contrast to when the Rocks went out to bat. Instead of looking to take the game deep and haul in the meagre total at the backend, the Rocks went hard from the outset.