Chris Gayle will be in the spotlight as the Jozi Stars take on the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in game two of the Mzansi Super League on Saturday.
The Mzansi Super League kicked off on Friday in a thrilling clash between the Cape Town Blitz and the Tshwane Spartans at Newlands.
The opening match saw tight bowling and entertaining batting. The attention now switches to game two of the MSL as the Jozi Stars take on the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Battle of the captains
The Jozi Stars have selected wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Vilas as their skipper, while the Giants will be led by big-hitting Warriors skipper and local boy Jon-Jon Smuts.
Composition of XIs
The big-money draw will be on display for the home team as the Bull Ring waits to see the ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle in action while on the opposite side, the Giants have a big-hitter of their own to strike fear into the bowlers – Jason Roy.
Much like the opening Mzansi Super League match, there will be some big names missing from both sides. Reeza Hendricks and Kagiso Rabada will miss out for the Stars due to international duty, while the Giants will be without Imran Tahir and Chris Morris.
Ones to watch
For the Stars, the local crowd will know all about Rassie van der Dussen’s explosive ability and he will be on display as he attempts to get his tournament up and running.
For the Giants, the exciting Eastern Cape batsman Marco Marais will aim to replicate his Africa T20 Cup form that saw him smash three consecutive unbeaten innings at the start of the tournament – 103 not out, 106 not out and 75 not out.
Where the contest could be won
It will be a clash between the batting lineups. If the Stars can tame Gayle and Van der Dussen and restrict the hosts to a low total, then they have the arsenal to put in a solid chase. Vice versa, if the likes of Roy and Smuts can be throttled, then the Giants will be in the driving seat.
The Wanderers Stadium is known for big totals, with the highest T20 score on the ground being 260 by Sri Lanka against Kenya in the ICC World T20 tournament in 2007.
Jozi Stars: Dane Vilas (c), Chris Gayle, Rassie van der Dussen, Dan Christian, Beuran Hendricks, Eddie Leie, Pite van Biljon, Duanne Olivier, Ryan Rickelton, Sinethemba Qeshile, Simon Harmer, Calvin Savage, Alfred Mothoa.
Unavailable: Kagiso Rabada, Reeza Hendricks, Dwaine Pretorius
Nelson Mandela Stars: Jon-Jon Smuts (c), Jason Roy, Junior Dala, Christiaan Jonker, Aaron Phangiso, Sisanda Magala, Ryan McLaren, Heino Kuhn, Marco Marais, Dyllan Matthews, Lizaad Williams, Rudi Second, Carmi le Roux.
Unavailable: Imran Tahir, Chris Morris.
Despite the Jozi Stars missing key Proteas players, their squad depth and experience should be sufficient to see off the Giants’ bowling unit.
Where to next
The Stars will face the Paarl Rocks at Boland Park on Tuesday, while the Giants clash with the Cape Town Blitz at Newlands on Wednesday.