Our prediction is Nelson Mandela Bay Giants to win!
The latest Mzansi Super League clash pits two sides who are arguably on top of their game right now and certainly high on confidence following recent results. Last time out, Nelson Mandela Bay hammered Paarl Rocks by 48 runs while Jozi smashed Durban Heat by 53 runs.
However, this match should be a much closer contest, although when these two sides met in just the second game of the tournament, Nelson Mandela Bay didn’t have too much difficulty in picking off a target of 125. Jozi have since shown massive improvement and should put up more of a challenge this time around.
One of the key things to watch is whether Reeza Hendricks can back up his stunning century against Durban and what the Nelson Mandela Bay bowlers can do to stop him. Seeing him try to take on the likes of Imran Tahir and Chris Morris could be a real treat for those spectators that make their way to St George’s Oval.
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants preview
Nelson Mandela Bay sit in second place in the table, just behind leaders Cape Town Blitz and with a bit of a gap to the sides following them. In their six matches so far, they have only lost one, suffered a no result against Cape Town and won the remaining four.
They have been comfortable either setting a target or chasing one down, although their preference when winning the toss is to bat second. Their experienced bowling attack, along with support from Sisanda Magala and Junior Dala is putting their opponents under lots of pressure.
There have been enough contributions each time they have batted to put runs on the board. Heino Kuhn responded to his time out of the side by returning with a half-century, proving how hungry the Nelson Mandela Bay players are to impress. For a second game in three days at home, it would be a surprise to see many changes to their side – if any at all.
Jozi Stars preview
Jozi Stars have proved something of an enigma in this competition. By hammering Paarl by 60 runs and Durban by 53 runs they have two of the tournament’s biggest victories. Yet, they have lost their other three matches, including a thrashing at the hands of Cape Town by 62 runs.
When it works for them, they are virtually unbeatable. But that has usually come on the back of one or two outstanding performances. Against Paarl, it was Ryan Rickelton’s 91 that led the way. Then Hendricks’ century against Durban set them up. But without Kagiso Rabada’s 4-27, would Durban have got closer? Very probably.
Slowly, Jozi are starting to gel as a team but taking on Nelson Mandela Bay – a side that tamed them in the opening week – will be a different proposition. Like their opponents, expect them to err on the side of caution and make few, if any, changes to a winning side.
It’s been warm in Port Elizabeth all week and that looks set to continue for this match. That might speed the pitch up a bit and lead to some good scoring conditions. There is almost no chance of any rain interruptions.
St George’s Park is a lively venue with its brass band providing plenty of atmosphere. Sometimes the pitch is unpredictable, but it seems to have played fairly consistently in this tournament so far. If anything, it is getting quicker as the tournament goes on.
Two out of three times Nelson Mandela Bay have won the toss, they have chosen to bowl first. Jozi have only won one toss, after which they also chose to bowl. As this is another home game, don’t discount the possibility that Nelson Mandela Bay may try to bat again rather than chasing – even if in general, the ground is one that has been kind to those batting second.
This could be a close one. Although Nelson Mandela Bay have beaten Jozi once already, on that occasion, Jozi did not have Hendricks or Rabada in their side. They are a different side now they have started to get their combinations working. Nevertheless, Nelson Mandela Bay are unbeaten at home while Jozi are yet to win on the road. We expect that run to continue.
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