PAARL – The Paarl Rocks booked themselves a home Mzansi Super League final with a thrilling victory over the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at Boland Park.
The – run defeat was particularly galling for the visitors as they too were seeking the opportunity to host the MSL final. Instead the Giants have to console themselves with a home playoff next Friday at St George’s Park.
But for the Purple Army it was a joyous occassion. They have come out in their numbers all competition, and were packed in again on Sunday morning. There’s little doubt the "Sold Out" signs will be posted all around Boland Park next Monday.
The victory certainly was earned with both batsmen and bowlers putting in a solid shift after the Rocks posted 168/5 in their allotted 20 overs.
Although the openers Cameron Delport (39 off 22 balls) and Henry Davids (31 off 27 balls) posted a rapid 56 in just 5.4 overs, the wheels came off once Imran Tahir was introduced into the attack for the Giants.
The veteran leg-spinner put the brakes on with the brilliant figures of 2/14 in his four overs. However, Kyle Verreynne (36 not out off 20 balls) and Isuru Udana (27 not out off 21 balls) ensured the Rocks posted a competitive total.
It was sufficient on the day due to the Rocks having not just one quality spinner, but a second too. Bjorn Fortuin was excellent, bowling his four overs for just 19 runs, while Tabraiz Shamsi collected 2/25.
The Rocks spin twins have been excellent throughout the competition and it is going to take a really superb batting line-up to counter the threat they pose in conditions that are tailormade for the duo.
Heino Kuhn battled valiantly for the Giants with 43-ball 58 but it was not enough to get his team over the line, especially after the Rocks put in a much improved fielding display.