Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Mzansi Super League preview: Jozi Stars

Jozi Stars
The defending champions have managed to retain some of their best players from last season. Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen were in incredible form and we can expect more of the same this season. Temba Bavuma, who recently made his T20I debut for the Proteas, has been named captain. Chris Gayle will feature for the Stars in the early stages of the tournament and will then be replaced by another veteran – Shoaib Malik.
Two of South Africa’s most highly rated young batsmen – Ryan Rickleton and Sinethemba Qeshile are also part of the squad. Qeshile is the main wicket-keeping option available to them and is likely to play in all their matches.  He has already made his T20I debut and has an opportunity here to make a case for the WT20 next year
Nono Pongolo’s story was one of the highlights of the inaugural MSL tournament. He was initially only selected as a back-up and was involved with SABC’s commentary team. Pongolo went on to pick 10 wickets in the tournament and became a superstar overnight when he smashed consecutive sixes off Marchant de Lange to seal a one-wicket win in Durban that turned the Stars’ campaign around. He will be part of a bowling attack that will be led by Kagiso Rabada. Last season’s top wicket-taker, Duanne Olivier, will feature for the Stars once again, while Dane Paterson, Lizaad Williams and Eathan Bosch are also available as pace options.
The experienced hard-hitting all-rounder Dan Christian is part of the squad again. Simon Harmer and Aaron Phangiso are the spin bowlers in the side.
The Stars have assembled a balanced squad once again and should be in contention to win the title this season too.

Monday, November 4, 2019

MSL 2019 Preview

The second season of the Mzansi Super League is upon us, amid an ongoing crisis regarding payments from last season. Broadcasting the matches on SABC instead of Supersport was not Cricket South Africa’s first choice, but it has worked out well for the fans. Many people tuned in last year and the same is expected this season. With the World T20 in Australia just under a year away, the local players will be looking to make an impact. Rassie van der Dussen, for example, had a great season last time that saw him receive a call up to the one-day side, where he has performed well.

Cape Town Blitz
The Blitz reached the final last season but were beaten by van der Dussen’s Jozi Stars. Quinton de Kock finished as their highest run-scorer and was second on the list overall. He finished with 412 runs, averaging 58.85 at an incredible strike-rate of 169.54. He has had some captaincy opportunities with the Proteas lately and was named as the captain for the Blitz earlier this week. He will opening the batting with the highly rated Janneman Malan, who had a promising season in 2018. Their other batting options include Liam Livingstone, who also bowls leg-spin, as well as the hard-hitting Asif Ali.
Pakistan left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz will be play the first two games before leaving for the T10 league. Moeen Ali has been signed as his replacement while he is away. Their pace attack will also consist of Dale Steyn, who bowled superbly last season an economy of 6.48. Dale will be joined by his former new-ball partner in test cricket – Vernon Philander will be hoping to have a better season that he did with Durban Heat last season. Anrich Nortje had an electrifying start, picking 8 wickets from 3 matches before he was ruled out by an injury. He has since made his test debut for the Proteas and will look to stay up the fast bowler pecking order. Sisanda Magala, who has had some impressive seasons in the Slam T20 challenge is also part of the squad.
The spin attack will consist of two left-arm orthodox all-rounders - Geroge Linde and Mohammad Nawaz. Moeen Ali, the all-round off spinner will feature too in Wahab Riaz’s absence.

To the couch for Bouch

There is an old saying in Tennessee, I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, we will tolerate you until we can replace ...