Faf leads from the front as Paarl Rocks thump Durban Heat
An unbeaten half-century by Faf du Plessis helped the Paarl Rocks jump to third on the Mzansi Super League (MSL) table after they brushed aside the Durban Heat with a clinical nine-wicket victory at Boland Park on Sunday.
The home captain smashed a dominant 76 off 48 balls (9 fours) as his side chased down their 155-run victory target at a measured tempo with five balls to spare.
Du Plessis had good support from Aiden Markram (48) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (28 not out) with their only problem in the chase being an injury sustained by Henry Davids, who had to retire hurt on two with a groin injury.
They eventually finished on 158 for one to complete a commanding victory and one that lifted them up to 13 points on the table, six behind the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and three ahead of the Jozi Stars – the two sides that meet later on Sunday.
For the Heat, their poor season continued as they remained bottom of the standings with a solitary win from their six games.
Despite having one of the best squads on paper, they have failed to gel as a team thus far and were again found wanting in Paarl, even after winning the toss.
They made the bold move of dropping out-of-form marquee signing Hashim Amla and it looked a good move initially as replacement Sarel Erwee struck 32 off 22 in an opening stand of 65 with Morne van Wyk (33) in seven overs.
But it mainly went south from there as wickets began to tumble regularly.
Proteas batsman David Miller (1) and Heinrich Klaasen (4) again failed, with the Durbanites having to heavily rely on Khaya Zondo’s unbeaten 38, which came from a relatively slow 34 balls.
The one plus for the visitors was the form of Vernon Philander after he shone with 30 off 16 balls, but his side was undone by the control of the home attack, which was well led by the two for 20 from Tabraiz Shamsi’s four overs.
None of their bowlers went for more than nine to the over, with Grant Thomson (1/18), Bjorn Fortuin (1/25) Tshepo Moreki (1/25) and David Wiese (1/33) also collecting a wicket apiece.
It was then the Faf show as the Heat failed to make inroads, with their solitary strike coming from Zimbabwean rookie Brandon Mavuta (1/32).
Somerset ‘open’ to allowing rising talent Shoaib Bashir to leave on loan
Bashir was fast-tracked into the England Test squad to face India and has taken 12 wickets in two matches.
Conditions in Dharamsala set to aid James Anderson’s bid for 700 Test wickets
India have already wrapped a series victory, leading England 3-1 with one Test to go.
Big hitting and Headingley heroics – Jonny Bairstow’s best Test moments
The Yorkshireman is set to play his 100th Test next week.
Cameron Green leads the way as Australia seize control of Test
Kane Williamson run out in collision as New Zealand left trailing by 204 in first innings.
Matthew Potts targeting England recall after ‘massive step forward’ with Lions
The 25-year-old Durham seamer has taken 23 wickets in six Tests for England.
Cameron Green century defies New Zealand on opening day of series
Matt Henry grabbed four wickets as Australia struggled on testing surface in Wellington.
A look at Parimatch – the most sought after bookmaker in India
Essex wanted to keep anonymity throughout independent review into racist abuse
Sanctions have been handed out after a report found players at the club had been subjected to racist abuse and discriminatory treatment.
Essex not naming those sanctioned over independent review into racist abuse
The Katharine Newton report was commissioned in 2021.
‘Slightly mad’ if England spin duo did not get county chances – Brendon McCullum
Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir have impressed on tour to India but may not be first-choice spinners at their counties this season.