CAPE TOWN – Chris Gayle told everyone ahead of Tuesday’s night big Mzansi Super League clash at Newlands that all eyes should be on Reeza Hendricks.
And the big Jamaican was absolutely right.
Hendricks (79 off 48 balls, 5x4, 5x6) led the way for the Jozi Stars as they clinched a 50-run victory over the Cape Town Blitz.
The right-hander is currently in the middle of a purple patch that will not only see him possibly opening the batting for the Proteas in the World Cup opener at Lord’s next year, but also set off a bidding war at the Indian Premier League auction later this month.
Although Hendricks fell short – only just – in his bid to become the first man to score three consecutive T20 centuries, the Jozi Stars opener was once again at the forefront of the entertainment.
Even after losing Gayle early on, and the Blitz bowlers initially maintaining a stranglehold in the Powerplay, the elegant right-hander was never flustered.
In fact, he prospered the longer he stayed at the crease.
And when Rassie van der Dussen (42 off 39 balls) started to find some rhythm too, the momentum swung the Stars’ way, with the pair sharing a 120-run partnership for the second wicket.
They never looked back from that moment on, with Dan Christian (22 off 9 balls, 1x4, 2x6) and Pite van Biljon (22 off 10 balls, 1x4, 2x6) blasting a couple of cameos to propel the Stars to an imposing 196/4 off 20 overs.
The Blitz’ run-chase never got out of the starting blocks, though, with only opener Janneman Malan (43 off 37 balls, 6x4) offering any form of resistance.
Seamers Duanne Olivier (3/38) and Christian (4/22) did the majority of the damage as the Stars left Newlands with a 50-run victory that earned the visitors a bonus point and second place on the MSL T20 log.