The majority of national players missed the first weekend of action - only Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn were involved for the Durban Heat and Cape Town Blitz respectively - due to the commitments Down Under where the Proteas completed a limited-overs double over Australia.
But judging by social media interaction where a photo was posted of a group of players crammed around a tablet in a Singapore Airport Lounge watching the Paarl Rocks against the Tshwane Spartans at Boland Park on Sunday, the Proteas are eager to turn out for their respective teams.
“I can’t remember the whole team getting together to watch a domestic game online like we did on Sunday,” Proteas captain Faf du Plessis said upon his return to South Africa. “We are really excited to get involved, and obviously we are going to play against each other, which is also new which hasn’t happened in the past.
“That is also great for the supporters and South African cricket that you are going to have the best domestic players and international players playing. So far, from what I have seen the tournament has been awesome and yesterday looked awesome. There was a great fan base there in Paarl. It was a great game.”
It certainly was a classic, with the match eventually going down to the last ball.
Unfortunately for the home team, the scales titled in favour of the Spartans who won by one run.
Paarl Rocks captain Henry Davids, who is deputising for Du Plessis until he returns to duty in Sunday’s much-anticipated derby against the in-form Blitz, was not overly disappointed with the result.
Instead, he believes the Rocks will come out even stronger against the Jozi Stars tonight (7pm start).
“The way we played there were a lot of positives. We have to execute better with the ball. I thought the batting was fairly good,” Davids, pictured, said.
“It is not the end of the world, and if we can carry on with the momentum we gained, we can only go from strength-to-strength. We can definitely look at our start with the ball.
“We didn’t hit our straps. We were way too full. We were always on the back foot. They were almost 60 with no wickets down within the powerplay.
“Ideally we want to take a couple of wickets and not go at 10s/11s/12s. Something we can look at is the lengths we bowl, especially on our wicket. We know the conditions. As soon as we started hitting those lengths, it was a little bit tougher to get away.
“The character we showed to get back in the game and to finally fall one run short was very impressive.”
Both teams will be a missing a couple of leading players for the contest tomorrow with West Indies duo Dwayne Bravo (Rocks) and Chris Gayle (Stars) along with Cameron Delport (Rocks) having left to the United Arab Emirates for the T10 League.@ZaahierAdams
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