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Cricket | Mzansi Super League 2018

Paarl Rocks © Gallo Images

Paarl Rocks secure final playoff spot

The Paarl Rocks clinched the final playoff spot in the Mzansi Super League T20 with a six-wicket win over the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday.

Full Scorecard

Chasing 130 to win and targeting a victory inside 16 overs in order to secure a bonus point, the Paarl Rocks started conservatively.

Henry Davids and Cameron Delport opened the batting and put on 21 before the former holed out to a wide mid-off to grant Chris Morris the breakthrough wicket.

Earlier the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants stuttered to 129 for eight in their 20 overs. Only Jason Roy (22 off 16 balls) and Morris (27 not out off 10 balls) managed impressive strike-rates.

Rudi Second top-scored with a patient 37 off 41 balls, but he couldn't provide the acceleration required at the death.

The Rocks bowled well, led by Dwayne Bravo (3-22) and Tabraiz Shamsi, who went for just 15 from his four and bagged the wicket of Ben Duckett.

The Paarl franchise threatened to lose their way in the chase as Faf du Plessis was caught at deep extra cover off Aaron Phangiso's bowling after struggling to six from 12 balls. 41 for two could so easily have been 41 for three as Phangiso dropped Delport the ball after Du Plessis's departure.

Phangiso and skipper Jon-Jon Smuts strangled the Rocks batsmen with their contrasting styles of slow bowling. Phangiso bowled slower, looking for turn, while Smuts fired the bulk of his deliveries in flat.

Delport changed the flow of the match in the 11th over as he took on Smuts, taking a few risks in hitting two sixes and a four via a dropped chance on the fence. The over went for 20 and boosted the Rocks to 72 for two and a position of relative comfort.

Dyllan Matthews started his spell with a big no-ball before twice being switch-hit by Delport to bring up the allrounder's fifty.

Delport continued to attack with Aiden Markram playing a support role, and though his innings was far from chanceless he put the Rocks in position to claim the bonus-point win they needed to seal third position and the final Mzansi Super League playoff spot.

Sisanda Magala (2-15) eventually got the better of Delport, bowling him with a cutter but his 84 had done enough to win the game for the Rocks if not secure the all important bonus point. Magala added the wicket of Bravo, who was looking to end matters.

The Rocks needed nine runs off the16th over to secure a bonus-point victory. David Wiese came in and smashed a six off the first ball of the over to take all the pressure off the Rocks. After a wide from Phangiso, Wiese won it with a top-edged slog that fell safe and allowed the Rocks to win with 28 balls to spare.

The Rocks will face the Jozi Stars in the playoff match at the Wanderers on Friday night to determine who will face the Cape Town Blitz in Sunday's final at Newlands.

Giants: Jason Roy, JJ Smuts (c), Rudi Second (wk), Ben Duckett, Heino Kuhn, Marco Marais, Chris Morris, Sisanda Magala, Aaron Phangiso, Dyllan Matthews, Junior Dala.

Paarl Rocks: Aiden Markram, Cameron Delport, Faf du Plessis (c), Henry Davids, Grant Thomson, Dwayne Bravo, Mangaliso Mosehle (wk), David Wiese, Dane Paterson, Kerwin Mungroo, Tabraiz Shamsi.


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