CENTURION – Players and coaches will often say that one player or one over can turn a T20 match, but rarely has one player so decisively delivered victory for his side as Quinton de Kock did for Cape Town Blitz on Saturday night.
His teammates filled in here and there, but this was a one-man effort; he wrote the music, played it, sang, produced and promoted his own track in the Blitz’ 60-run victory over Tshwane Spartans.
By the time the Spartans set off in pursuit of what is usually a chaseable target of 173 at a venue where teams prefer batting second – a decision AB de Villiers made upon winning the toss and one his counterpart Farhaan Behardien, who knows this ground well, would have chosen as well – they looked shell-shocked.
The Blitz innings consisted of a whole lot of Quinton de Kock, a little bit of Janneman Malan and not much else.
What had started well for the table-topping visitors rapidly descended into calamity with the most awful collapse.
From 83/0 in the ninth over, they slumped to 101/8 in the 14th – eight wickets for 18 runs in 25 balls.
Of those 25 deliveries, De Kock faced seven and nudged his way past 50 in the process, off only 29 balls. But even he needed to up that strike-rate, and then do so by also farming the strike.
It turned into a hitting exhibition from the precocious left-hander, as he carved the home team’s attack to pieces.
He took 19 runs off the tournament’s leading wicket-taker Jeevan Mendis in the 16th over – hitting a first-ball six, and then three consecutive fours – toying with De Villiers’ field placements in the process.
He manipulated those deliveries he couldn’t hit to the boundary cleverly into gaps, and exposed the No 10 Malusi Siboto to only nine balls during their 57-run 10th-wicket partnership – Siboto scored just two runs in that stand.
It was an innings of the highest quality given the circumstances, and if the tournament sees a better one, it will be a hell of an effort.
Just 24 hours after Reeza Hendricks of the Jozi Stars had registered the Mzansi Super League’s first 100, De Kock claimed the second, celebrating more enthusiastically than is the norm for him – perhaps this being his home ground, and playing against so many of his Titans teammates made it even more special.
In all, his 108 came off only 55 balls and included 10 fours and five sixes as the Blitz finished on 172/9 off 20 overs.
You couldn’t blame the Spartans for being bamboozled. They just never got on top of the Blitz bowlers.
Dale Steyn offered control and Nandré Burger (3/19) – the replacement for the injured Anrich Nortjé – brutal left-arm pace.
Pakistan import Mohammed Nawaz again proved to be a thorn in the Spartans’ side.
IT'S ALL OVER! What a display of bowling as we dismiss @SpartansMSLT20 for 112 to claim a bonus-point victory by 60 runs 🏏— Cape Town Blitz (@CT_Blitz) December 1, 2018
Quinton de Kock - 108 (55 balls)
Muhammad Nawaz - 3/14
Nandre Burger - 3/19
Malusi Siboto - 2/14#CTBlitz ⚡️⚡️⚡️ #TSvCTB #BlitzBrigade #MSLT20 pic.twitter.com/NwYQoU0vWZ
In the opening match in Cape Town two weeks ago, his 59 gave the Blitz innings much-needed impetus, and on Saturday night, he picked up three wickets – Dean Elgar and Theunis de Bruyn among them – to thwart the home side again as they were bowled out for 112.
The bonus-point win all but secures the Blitz a playoff spot, and their target now is to finish on top of the table and ensure they host the December 16 final.@shockerhess