Cape Town Blitz fold for 84 as Paarl Rocks cruise to handsome win
Paarl Rocks 170 for 9 (Davids 38, du Plessis 38, Nortje 3-31, Linde 3-23) beat Cape Town Blitz 84 (Shamsi 3-16) by 86 runs
After defeating the defending champions in the season opener on Friday night, the Cape Town Blitz were rudely brought back down to earth by their nearest rivals, the Paarl Rocks, on Sunday. The Blitz were dismissed for 84 - the lowest total in the competition's short history - inside 16 overs, in chase of 171. That meant the Rocks took the early Western Cape derby bragging rights, and sit at the top of the points table.
Home-boy gives the home-side a start
Henry Davids is the best-known member of the Rocks' XI that is actually from the area so it was fitting that he gave them what turned into a match-winning start. Davids and Cameron Delport's opening stand was worth 41 runs in 27 balls and included an impressive assault on Test players Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn. Davids took two fours and a six off Philander's opening spell while Delport took four fours off Steyn before being dismissed by another international, Anrich Nortje. Davids was then joined by captain Faf du Plessis, with whom he shared a second-wicket stand of 38. Interestingly, both Davids and du Plessis had the joint-top score, also 38.
Blitz pull it back
The Rocks raced to 107 for 3 midway through the 10th over before a suicidal attempt at a second run saw Faf du Plessis run out and sparked a collapse. In the next 9.3 overs, Rocks lost seven wickets and scored 63 runs, with George Linde playing a starring role in slowing them down. Linde had Hardus Viljoen stumped for 4, Mangaliso Mosehle trapped lbw attempting a slog-sweep and took the catch at long-off that ended Isuru Udana's innings, off Anrich Nortje. Both Nortje and Linde claimed three wickets, giving the Blitz a chaseable target.
Rocks start with short-ball trap
Viljoen, who played one Test for South Africa against England before going down the Kolpak route, is known for aggressive, quick bowling and a mean bouncer and he used that to make early inroads into the Blitz's line-up. Quinton de Kock was caught at backward point, cutting a short, wide ball in Viljoen's first over and Janneman Malan, after scoring back-to-back boundaries off Viljoen was caught behind attempting a pull off a short ball in his second. You can take the bowler away from the bounce of South African wickets but you can't take the bounce out of the bowler when he gets back on them, it seems.
Blitz spun out
At 56 for 5 at the halfway mark, it looked as though the Blitz were facing an uphill and Tabraiz Shamsi made it even steeper with his spell. He took 3 for 16 in three overs to stamp out all hope the Blitz would have had and to keep his name in the conversation when it comes to the national T20 side. Shamsi took a simple return catch off the second ball he bowled when Mohammad Nawaz chipped the ball back to him, beat Magala outside off to bowl him and had Linde stumped after coming down the track to a delivery that turned across him. The Blitz lost 5 for 27 in 27 balls to hand the Rocks a handsome, 86-run win.