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Blitz Hope to Exploit Spartans Rookie Pacers
CAPE Town Blitz coach Ashwell Prince is hoping his team can exploit the inexperience in the Tshwane Spartans’ seam bowling attack when the two teams meet at SuperSport Park on Saturday.
The clash is a re-match of the tournament opening fixture at Newlands a fortnight ago when the Blitz emerged victorious in the “North v South” derby.
The Spartans were rocked mid-way through the competition when Standard Bank Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi was ruled out through a knee injury sustained on the recent tour of Australia.
Although the Spartans have the experienced duo of Andrew Birch and Rory Kleinveldt in their squad, coach Mark Boucher opted for the youthful trio of Eldred Hawken, Corben Bosch and Lutho Sipamla for the mid-week victory over the Jozi Stars.
“We saw them here on the first day, so we have an idea what they are about. I think they are heavily reliant on AB (de Villiers) in the batting department, although Dean Elgar also played nicely.
“They also had a big injury to Lungi Ngidi, so they can’t call on his expertise as well, which has left their seam bowling attack fairly young. They had Hawken, Bosch and Sipamla in their last game, that was their first three seamers, so that’s very young,” Prince said.
The Blitz, though,
“It is really unfortunate that the injury has come at this particular time in his career. He is definitely one for the future for the Proteas, and South Africa has a lot to look forward to from this young man,” Prince said.
“Everybody in Cape Town was really excited to see the sheer pace that Anrich [Nortje] could generate, which they saw in the first warm-up game against Paarl Rocks, where he got the ball through at 150 – maybe higher. I think all Capetonians were really excited about his potential in the tournament and, in the brief time he played with us, he didn’t disappoint.”
The Blitz have replaced Nortje with Nortje Highveld Lions left-arm seamer Nandre Burger.
Meanwhile, the Spartans will be looking to maintain their momentum after beating the Jozi Stars on Wednesday. Opener Dean Elgar, in particular, is keen to continue his good form at the top order after striking a career-best 79 not out.
“I am very happy to open. i have always thought I was best suited in the top three in this format of the game. It allows me to get myself in and then play a few more expansive shots later on,” the Proteas left-hander said.
Elgar also believes the Spartans’ have put their opening defeat to the Blitz behind them.
“The Cape Town Blitz are a strong side. Their bowling unit seems quite solid. But we also have some seriously strong batters that haven’t come off and when they do it is going to be some great entertainment for the spectators. T20 is so unpredictable. Any team on any day can blow a team out of the water,” he said.