Liam Livingstone’s excellent half-century followed by a polished bowling display completed a double for the Cape Town Blitz over the Jozi Stars and condemned the defending Mzansi Super League champions to a third consecutive loss of the new season on Thursday.
The 2018 winners, who were beaten by the same opponents in the competition opener last Friday, fell to a 57-run loss at Newlands where they were restricted to 126 chasing an imposing 184 and conceded a bonus point in the process.
Englishman Livingstone was the star performer for the hosts after plundering five sixes and three fours in an innings of 65 off 41 balls that help power his side to 183 for six.
The Stars’ chase never got going after they fell into a deep hole at 27 for three in the fifth, before Temba Bavuma’s 62 off 42 balls (8 fours, 1 six) gave the scorecard some respectability.
Sisanda Magala was the pick of the bowlers with his three for 17, but that did not tell the full story of what was a superb effort by all the bowlers.
The seamers, in particular, excelled as Anrich Nortje claimed two for 18, Dale Steyn took one for 33 and debutant Wahab Riaz, who earlier bludgeoned a quick-fire 29, nabbed one for 13.
It was the Blitz’s second win of the campaign in their third game, both being over the Stars, as they moved to the top of the table.
For the Johannesburg side, it was back to the drawing board after they remained pointless and winless in 2019.
They struggled from the outset even though they won the toss and opted to bowl first, with Quinton de Kock (41 off 21 balls) providing his team a flying start.
After the captain fell with his side on 53 in the sixth over, Livingstone picked up the baton and carved the bowling all around the picturesque Cape Town venue.
Pakistan all-rounder Riaz then provided the sting with three fours and a six in his unbeaten 29 off 13 balls that seemed to suck the life out of the Stars.
They were dealt a big blow first up as marquee international Chris Gayle fell for a fifth-ball duck when he was bowled by Nortje.
Reeza Hendricks (13) and Rassie van der Dussen (0) fell in successive balls to Steyn and Riaz as the Stars fell to 27 for three.
That became 64 for five when Magala and George Linde (1/18) add their names to the wickets column.
Simon Harmer got to 20, before he too was bowled – Gregory Mahlokwana (1/27) also capturing a wicket.
It was all over by then, and despite the efforts of Bavuma, his team was dismissed in just 16.2 overs to fall to a heavy defeat.