We head into the second half of the Mzansi Super League with a cracking looking contest on as the top two in the table meet in a matchup which might just give us an idea of which one may go on and automatically qualify for the final.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants currently top the table and they will host the second placed Paarl Rocks in a big game for both sides at Port Elizabeth, with top spot on the line throughout the contest.
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
The only thing that has been able to stop the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants so far this season has been the rain. In the four matches they have completed, they have won them all and in truth haven’t really been in too much trouble at any stage, maybe with the exception of a few overs against the Cape Town Blitz. The intriguing thing for the Bay Giants is that there is probably more to come with a few individuals not yet up to full speed.
Only one of their batsmen have accumulated more than 100 runs in the tournament thus far, which for a side top of the pile and having only had one match washed out is an interesting record. While that means everyone is mucking in, it suggests nobody is quite dominating the event like you would expect. It is with the ball where their credentials are stronger. Four of their five main bowlers are going for seven an over or less, and are taking wickets which makes them hard to beat.
It has been a slightly more up and down campaign for the Paarl Rocks thus far, but they have pushed their way up to second in the table, and after narrowly missing out on the big games last year, they will be eager to kick on here and deliver the goods to ensure they do not end up watching the final from afar again. The Rocks have suffered one loss and a washout in their five matches, with that defeat the one time this season their bowlers have been found wanting.
When you look at the statistics for the tournament, the Rocks are going along quite nicely. They have three batsmen with more than 100 runs to their name while four of their bowling attack are going at less than seven an over. The two who aren’t should come good at some point as well, so although they are perfectly placed as it is, don’t be surprised if Paarl go from strength to strength, especially if their captain Faf du Plessis comes to the party at any point.
I can see this match going either way if I am honest. I suspect that the Paarl Rocks are a little overpriced but I wouldn’t really want to pick a winner in this one with any security or certainty so I am going to head to the side markets given that there is no weather around so we can bring all the markets into play with the aim of finding a winning punt.
The bet I like is the performance of JJ Smuts which looks a little on the low side to be at 35.5. The Bay Giants captain can cover lines like these with the bat but he is likely to utilise his left arm spin to good effect as well and pick up points in that way as well. Smuts took three wickets against the Rocks on this ground last season and he comes into this match having covered this line in his last three matches, once with the bat and twice with a combination of bat and ball. Throw in his captaincy which will see him fielding in key areas and I like the over here.
Back JJ.Smuts’ Performance – Over 35.5pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365