The Tshwane Spartans revived their slim chances of reaching the Mzansi Super League (MSL) play-offs with a hard-fought four wicket victory over the Paarl Rocks at SuperSport Park in what turned out to be a shoddy game on Wednesday afternoon.
The Spartans‚ who will definitely rue the missed opportunity of getting a bonus-point‚ stay dangerously second from the bottom on the standings and they are left with challenging round-robin matches against Nelson Mandela Bay Giants‚ Jozi Stars away from home and Durban Heat at home.
The Rocks won the toss and chose to bat but the move backfired as they were bowled out for a below par score of 121 after 17.4 overs. But the Spartans nearly made a huge mess of their chase and they lost their way with a mini middle order collapse.
The home side lost the key top order batsmen wickets of Dean Elgar‚ Andrea Agathagelou‚ Gihahn Cloete‚ AB de Villiers and England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan to leave the team struggling on 82/5 after 13.1 overs.
Of the five Spartans top order batsmen‚ only Cloete and Agathagelou covered themselves in glory with notable scores of 30 and 23 respectively while Elgar‚ De Villiers and Morgan scored a combined 18 runs.
After the early scare‚ Tony de Zorzi and Robbie Frylinck stayed calm on the crease but their partnership of 28 off 33 was broken in the penultimate over when the former was caught by Dwayne Bravo having scored 28 runs.
Frylinck (22) and Shaun von Berg (0) were unbeaten in their partnership of 12 runs off four balls as the Spartans ended their innings on 122/6 after 19.3 overs and the much needed win.
The star performer for the Rocks with the ball was spinner Tabraiz Shamsi who accounted for the wickets of Cloete‚ De Villiers and Morgan and ended his four overs with impressive figures of 3/18 while Daviw Wiese and Bravo claimed one each.
The Rocks were also not too impressive with the bat as their highest scorer was Proteas captain Faf du Plessis who managed 38 runs off 19 balls‚ which included five boundaries and two maximums. West Indies star Dwayne Bravo contributed 25 off 14.
Aiden Markram‚ Cameron Delport‚ Vaughn van Jaarsveld‚ Mangaliso Mosehle‚ Bjorn Fortuin‚ Tshepo Moreki and Tabraiz Shamsi failed to reach double figures while other notable contributors were Wiese (16) and Dane Paterson (15).
The main destroyer for the Spartans with ball in hand was highly impressive youngster Lutho Sipamla and Shaun von Berg‚ who returned with three wickets each.
Jeewan Mendis ended his innings with two while Frylinck took the other one.