Jozi Stars crowned Mzansi Super League champions after comprehensive thrashing of Cape Town Blitz

Nono Pongolo of the Jozi Stars celebrates with teammate Rassie van der Dussen (c) after catching Farhaan Behardien of Cape Town Blitz during the 2018 Mzansi Super League T20 Finals cricket match between Cape Town Blitz and Jozi Stars at Newlands, CapeTown on 16 December 2018.
Nono Pongolo of the Jozi Stars celebrates with teammate Rassie van der Dussen (c) after catching Farhaan Behardien of Cape Town Blitz during the 2018 Mzansi Super League T20 Finals cricket match between Cape Town Blitz and Jozi Stars at Newlands, CapeTown on 16 December 2018.
Image: ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

The Jozi Stars were crowned inaugural Mzansi Super League (MSL) champions after a comprehensive eight wickets win over the Cape Town Blitz at Newlands Stadium on Sunday.

The Blitz‚ who finished at the top of the standings to earn a home final‚ buckled under pressure with a below average total of 133/7 after they won the toss and chose to bat.

Their total‚ which is the lowest for a team batting first in the tournament‚ was a piece of cake for the Stars who easily crossed the line on 115/2 after 17.3 overs and with 15 balls to spare.

Half centurion Rassie van der Dussen‚ who ended as the highest scorer in the tournament with 469‚ and his captain Dane Vilas were unbeaten on respective scores of 59 and 4.

The two wickets to fall for Stars were opener Ryan Rickelton (6)‚ who was bowled by Steyn in the third over‚ and Reeza Hendricks (33)‚ who was caught at deep square leg by Dawid Malan from the bowling of Malusi Siboto in the 16th over.

When they set the target‚ notable contributors for the Blitz were Kyle Verreynne and skipper Farhaan Behardien with 23 runs each and the closest to them were Malan‚ Dale Steyn and Ferisco Adams who scored 17‚ 15 and 12 respectively.

Their highest partnership was 25 off 24 between Behardien and Verreynne in the middle of the overs which is hardly competition winning material.

Their problems started in the second over when star batsman Quinton de Kock was caught in the deep by Reeza Hendricks at cow corner from the bowling of Beuran Hendricks and they never recovered from there.

The following three wickets of Malan‚ Mohammad Nawaz and Asif Ali went for a mere 20 runs to leave the Blitz in serious trouble on 48/4 after 9.3 overs and needing someone to rescue their innings.

Verreynne tried his best to steer them in the right direction but he departed in the 14th over when he was bowled clean by Proteas star Kagiso Rabada and was soon followed by Andile Phehlukwayo and Berhadien.

When their innings ended after 20 overs‚ Adams and Steyn were unbeaten on 12 and 15 respectively and faced with a tough job of protecting a low total.

With ball in hand‚ Duanne Olivier and Beuran Hendricks claimed two apiece while Rabada and Daniel Christian returned with one each for the Stars.

The Stars reached the final because they finished second on the standings in the round robin and their eliminator match against third placed Paarl Rocks was rained out on Friday at the Wanderers.

X