The Paarl Rocks completed the double over the Cape Town Blitz, securing a narrow two-run victory in the Mzansi Super League 2.0 at PPC Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday.
The Rocks, who were sent into bat first by Quinton de Kock, posted 163 for eight with man of the match Henry Davids top-scoring with 46, but in reply, the home side could only reach 161 for nine thanks mainly to a 23-ball 41 from Pakistan allrounder, Mohammad Nawaz.
The Blitz looked down and out of the contest on 126 for six with just 18 balls remaining but Nawaz struck two fours and three sixes before being caught off the first ball of the final over by James Vince at long-on from the bowling of Isuru Udana (4-0-48-2). Despite a valiant effort by Sisanda Magala (9 not out), the home side were just not able to score the four runs needed off the final ball.
De Kock (23) and Janneman Malan (22) looked set to take the challenge to the Rocks but Hardus Viljoen (4-0-43-1) had De Kock caught at mid-on by Davids, playing too early to a slow ball. Spinner Bjorn Fortuin (4-0-20-2) then grabbed two wickets in four balls as he had Marques Ackerman (1) trapped leg before with his first ball, before taking a catch low-down off his own bowling to see the back of Malan.
Englishman Liam Livingstone (8) struggled, facing 15 balls before being bowled by Tabraiz Shamsi (4-0-26-2), who also then accounted for Asif Ali (13). The home fans started believing that their side could actually get back into the match as Nawaz and Vernon Philander (33) added 52 off 36 balls for the sixth wicket but shortly after going to their 50-run stand, Philander played across the line and was caught by Davids in the gully region off Dwaine Pretorius (4-0-22-1).
Earlier, Davids laid the foundation with an innings that lasted 33 balls and included five boundaries and a six. Despite the early loss of Cameron Delport (8), Davids was supported by Faf du Plessis (21), Vince (23) and Pretorius (29), who was unlucky to be given out caught behind. This wicket turned the tide as the Blitz restricted the visitors to 163.
Dale Steyn (4-0-38-2) dismissed Vince and Udana (0) while Magala (4-0-35-2) captured Sibonelo Makhanya (8) and Pretorius. Mangaliso Mosehle struck three fours before being bowled by Wahab Riaz (4-0-24-1), who also claimed two brilliant catches in the field. The first was a full-length, one-handed dive to see the back of Du Plessis off Gregory Mahlokwana (2-0-16-1) and then another one-handed diving catch at backward point off Magala to dismiss Makhanya.
The victory moves the Rocks into second on the log with 15 points after five games while the Blitz slip to third on 13 points, having played a game more. The Rocks travel to Port Elizabeth on Wednesday to tackle the log-leaders, the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, while the Blitz host the Durban Heat here at Newlands a day later.
**as published on supersport.com**