Cape Town Blitz 183 for 6 (Livingstone 65) beat Jozi Stars 126 (Bavuma 62, Magala 3-17) by 57 runs
It was third time unlucky for the defending champions, Jozi Stars, who were defeated by Cape Town Blitz for the second time in this edition of the tournament. After faltering in chase of 214 against the Blitz in the opener last Friday and falling 24 runs short of 168 against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants midweek, the Stars' fortunes did not change and they were unable to hunt 184 under lights at Newlands. Despite a gusty 62 from captain Temba Bavuma, Stars remain at the bottom of the points table and have a mountain to climb to reach the playoffs. Blitz are up to second place.
He turned 19 just six weeks ago, is third on the first-class bowling charts and has now announced himself as the next big thing in South African cricket. Gerald Coetzee, who was schooled at St Andrews in Bloemfontein (the alma mater of cycling champion Chris Froome), made a big impression on his MSL debut by bouncing out the Blitz opening pair in his first spell. He had Janneman Malan caught at mid-off attempting a pull and Quinton de Kock caught behind off the top-edge. Coetzee had figures of 2 for 11 from his first two overs and if his night had ended there, he could have asked for nothing more. But, his next two overs, which included the final one of the innings, cost 31. Still, his overall analysis belies the early impact he made and in the gloom that is South African cricket at the moment, he is one to watch.
Living the good life
On arrival in Cape Town, Liam Livingstone spoke about his goals to go big in this tournament but with scores of 21 and 5, he wasn't doing that in the first two matches. Livingstone put that right in this innings with a blistering 65 off 41 balls, which started when he attacked the Stars spinners and then saw him take apart young Coetzee. He took liberties when he moved across his stumps to flick Coetzee over the wicketkeeper, first for four, then for six and then for four again. He also enjoyed Dan Christian's slower-ball bouncers too and gave the Blitz a fulcrum around which to build their innings.
Reputation may not be enough to keep Chris Gayle in the Jozi Stars XI after a third failing in as many matches. Unlike the previous two chases, where he got starts of 17 and 18 respectively, this time he inside-edged on to his stumps for a fifth-ball duck to put his team in trouble early on. After defending three balls he could have hit into gaps and almost being yorked and run-out off the same ball, Gayle was beaten for pace by Anrich Nortje, proving that even someone who was once thought invincible in this arena, is fallible.
If Wahab Riaz was feeling a little weary from Pakistan's T20 series loss to Australia, he certainly wassn't showing it. Fresh off the flight, he ensured the Jozi chase was over before it had even really begun when he played his part in a double-strike that put the Stars all but out of the contest. Wahab was at mid-on when Reeza Hendricks sent a Steyn ball swirling into the wind and steadied himself in time to take the catch. He was asked to bowl the next over and after starting with a wide, had Rassie van der Dussen caught behind for a duck to leave the Stars 27 for 3 in the fifth over, with victory still 157 runs away.
Linde's luck is in
Recent Test debutant George Linde had luck with his first ball when he had Dan Christian given out lbw trying to sweep. Replays showed the ball would have gone over the stumps but by then, the Jozi Stars were 65 for 5, with little hope of challenging further.