Elgar’s knock puts Spartans on course to Mzansi Super League victory
Proteas Test opener Dean Elgar displayed his limited-overs credentials by helping the Tshwane Spartans to a four-wicket win over the Jozi Stars in their Mzansi Super League (MSL) encounter at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
Elgar‚ who has only played eight one-day internationals (ODIs) and is yet to feature in an international T20 match for the Proteas‚ scored an elegant knock of 79 off 52 balls, which included five boundaries and four maximums. Largely as a result of his performance‚ the Spartans ended on 188/6 in reply to the Stars’ 186/5.
The Stars lost the toss and were put in to bat first on a wicket that had something for the bowlers and the batsmen.
In the process, Elgar reached his highest T20 score and the Spartans breathed new life into their campaign with their second win after five matches. They are now third on the standings.
The other main contributor for the Spartans with the bat was former Proteas captain AB de Villiers, who looked to be in the mood with his attacking play until he was caught at long-off by Ryan Rickelton while trying to clear the boundary from the bowling of Dwaine Pretorius after 13 overs. De Villiers scored 39 off 21 balls.
Following the early loss of Gihahn Cloete (9) and Theunis de Bruyn (0)‚ Elgar and De Villiers went about rebuilding and put together a useful partnership of 68 off 38, which set the tone for this much-needed victory for coach Mark Boucher.
Wickets that followed De Villiers were those of Tony de Zorzi (18) and Robbie Frylinck (5), while Sean Williams was unbeaten on 13 when reach the team reached their target after 19.3 overs.
For the visitors‚ who suffered their third loss of the campaign‚ spinner Simon Harmer was impressive with ball in hand and was responsible for the demise of Corbin Bosch‚ De Bruyn and De Zorzi and ended with figures of 3/26 in his four overs.
At one stage Harmer wreaked havoc with the Spartans’ middle order and was on a hat-trick after dismissing Bosch (9) and De Bruyn (0) in successive balls but could not get De Dean Elgar Villiers with the third ball.
Kagiso Rabada‚ Beuran Hendricks and Dwaine Pretorius contributed one wicket apiece but their efforts were not enough as the Spartans crossed the finishing line with three balls to spare and their campaign up and running.
The main contributors for the Stars were Reeza Hendricks (55)‚ Pite van Biljon (42)‚ Da ne Vilas (25) and Rassie van der Dussen (18).
Meanwhile, Jeevan Mendis took two wickets and Lutho Sipamla and Bosch claimed one each for the Spartans.