- Nelson Mandela Bay Giants have won three out of four games at their home ground this season and are using the conditions well
- Bay Giants’ Imran Tahir has picked 10 wickets at an economy of 5.84 this season and can turn the game on his own
- Tshwane Spartans’ batting is over dependent on AB de Villiers and this may act as a weakness for them
The 23rd game of the Mzansi Super League 2019 will see a clash between two of the best sides this season. Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Tshwane Spartans are currently sitting on No. 2 and 3 on the points table with 19 points and it is only the net run rate that separates them. It will be a battle of character for the two sides that have shown good form this whole season. Interestingly the two sides come into this game having lost their previous games. For Bay Giants it has been two losses in their last two games and they will need to recover from that.
Their earlier encounter in the season was washed away by rain but not before the Bay Giants had upper hand when rain halted play. Both sides have good batsmen in their squad and this will likely make this a high scoring encounter. It will be interesting to see how the two sides approach this game as their skills and character would be tested under bad weather conditions.
NELSON MANDELA BAY GIANTS
From being table toppers at one moment, the Bay Giants suddenly find themselves in poor form with back to back losses. They bowled poorly in the last game against Durban Heat to lose it. The side now plays at home and would look to win. Batting looks good with Jason Roy and Ben Dunk doing well at top. Roy’s return to form is good news for the side. Skipper JJ Smuts had been their best batsmen and the side has good depth having Heino Kuhn, Chris Morris and Marcos Marais down the order. It is their bowling unit that has created problems for the side. Imran Tahir has been by far the best bowler and Morris did well in the last game. Lot of would depend on how Junior Dala and Beuran Hendricks bowl in the game as they have been leaking runs.
Heinrich Klaasen’s team lost the last game against Cape Town Blitz, their first loss of the season. Their top order failed to fire leading to the side’s loss. While Dean Elgar and Theunis de Bruyn started well in the season they have suddenly lost form and the batting seems over dependent on AB de Villiers. Petrus van Biljon is looking in good form down the order but the side would need a good start from the openers and good scores from Klaasen and Wiaan Mulder going into this game. In terms of their bowling, Morne Morkel and Lungi Ngidi have done well but the rest of the bowling line-up hasn’t fared well. Lutho Sipamla has to get back to form as his bowling has cost the team dearly.
The four games played at the venue so far have been high scoring encounters. There have been two wins for sides batting first and equal number of losses. But given the weather predictions we expect the side winning the toss to bowl first on this surface.
PITCH AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
It has been a good track to bat on at the St George's Park, Port Elizabeth and most games have seen sides score plenty of runs. It is expected to be the same in the next game where the wicket will be fast paced and the ball will hit the bat hard. This will allow batsmen to play their strokes freely and the fast outfield easing their efforts. Whether would be heavy over Port Elizabeth and there would be dark clouds overhead making the ball do a bit in the initial overs.
The temperature at the start of the game would be around 16° C mark and humidity of 58% with heavy winds.
There isn’t much to choose between the two sides at the moment and both Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Tshwane Spartans have played well. Both sides have similar kinds of strength with their batsmen looking in good form at the moment. It is expected to be a highly competitive game where sixes and fours would rain and the bowlers will also get assistance from the surface. Nelson Mandela Bay Giants are playing at home and have done well here this season. This will put them slightly ahead in the game.