Highlights of Mzansi Super League 2018
The Grand Finale of the Mzansi Super League 2018 didn’t quite leave up to the expectations. It ended up being a one-sided contest which few would have expected given the form the two sides were in. The pressure of the occasion got the better of Cape Town Blitz as they never really looked in the game right from the start. The most successful team in the tournament the Blitz playing in front of their home crowd meekly surrendered to an upbeat Jozi Stars by 8 wickets.
It might have been a case of fatigue for the Blitz who nearly had to wait for a week between their last league game and the finals. Losing their in-form batsman Quinton de Kock early triggered a batting collapse at the top which the side could never recover from. Farhaan Behardien tried to stabilize the innings but his departure at a crucial phase served as the death knell for the side. For the Stars Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada, Daniel Christian and Simon Harmer bowled brilliantly. They made the chase look easy with Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen stitching a partnership of 86 runs chasing a small total of 114. In the end they won it comfortable with 8 wickets in hand and 15 balls to spare.
Beuran Hendricks – Man of the Match in Final
The Jozi Stars left-arm pacer who set the ball rolling for the side picking up the wicket of de Kock was adjudged the Man of the Match for his performance. It was a fitting award for a man who has been consistent throughout the tournament with the new ball.
Duanne Olivier – Bowler of the Tournament
Duanne Olivier who was one of the key contributors to Stars’ performance this season won the award for the Best Bowler of the Tournament. He picked up 20 wickets at an impressive average of 13.20
Rassie van der Dussen – Batsman of the Tournament
Jozi Stars would owe their success this season to the strong batting performances from the top order with their Top 3 having been in great form but the honour of the Best Batsman went to Rassie van der Dussen for scoring 469 runs in the season with four half centuries including the one in the final at an incredible average of 58.62
Gihahn Cloete – Fielder of the Tournament
How can there not be an award for great fielding in a South African cricket tournament? After all they set the standards for modern fielding. Tshwane Spartans’ Gihahn Cloete was brilliant throughout the season on the field and rightly earned this award.
Quinton de Kock – Most Valuable Player
It wasn’t the perfect end to the tournament for Quinton de Kock. The South African opener was in brilliant form with the bat making 412 runs in 8 games and also did his job behind the wicket pretty well. He would have liked to be on the winning side but that wasn’t to be. However for his brilliant show he was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the Mzansi Super League 2018.
It was three weeks of exciting cricket out in the park with great show from all the sides. After having failed to popularize T20 franchise league Cricket South Africa finally seems to have found a recipe for success and would look to grow this tournament in the years to come.