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Ab de Villiers blitz' steers Tshwane Spartans to an emphatic victory
MSL 2019

Ab de Villiers blitz' steers Tshwane Spartans to an emphatic victory

Ab de Villiers' cameo in front of a packed house in Centurion propelled Tshwane Spartans to the top of Mzansi Super League (MSL) table, following the massive victory against underwhelming Paarl Rocks.

De Villiers smacked 69 off just 37 deliveries in his 300th T20 game, which comprised three sixes and six fours, to help the hosts chase down an untaxing 127 target with 30 balls to spare.  

Before De Villiers' blitz, Spartans superb bowling display didn't allow Rocks to tee off and gain any sort of momentum in their innings. Man-of-the-match Roelof van der Merwe led the show with a staggering three for 15 in four overs and he was supported well by two wickets each from Morne Morkel and Lungi Ngidi.

With no scoreboard pressure in mind, Mr.360 unleashed his coruscating batting display and regaled the jam-packed crowd by striking at 186! Spartans are the only unbeaten side in the tournament and they seem to be growing from strength to strength as the competition is moving to the business end.

Rocks would be disappointed with their performance because they began the proceedings with a blazing start courtesy of Cameron Delport (25) and Henry Davids (14), who took them to 50 inside the powerplay. However, both batters were outfoxed shortly as Morkel and Ngidi put brakes to their enterprising knocks.

Captain Faf du Plessis (19) and Sibonelo Makhanya (16) didn't let them go astray for a while but they lost the plot just at the wrong time, falling to the cunning spinning methods of Van der Merve - who pulled off record bowling figures (3/15) in this MSL edition - and thereon things went haywire for Faf's led side.

At one stage they were 74 for three but then an epic collapse resulted in losing seven sticks for 52 and they eventually folded in 19.4 overs. In reply, Theunis de Bruyn (5) fell early in the piece to a ripper darted by Bjorn Fortuin but then De Villiers took control of the situation and put the game to bed.

Heinrich Klaasen (35 off 20) alongside right-hand stalwart of South Africa knitted a match-winning 73-run partnership that steered them to a dominating win.

The victory resulted in a three-way tie on the points table as Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, Rocks have all bagged 19 points, but Spartans cling to the summit due to their superior net run-rate.