Jozi Stars vs Cape Town Blitz, 1st T20 Match Prediction2019-11-09
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
Cape Town Blitz
Cape Town Blitz
Last season finalists – Jozi Stars and Cape Town Blitz - set to begin MSL 2.0
Jozi Stars to win!
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The 2nd season of Mzansi Super League is all set to begin. It is also being called as MSL 2.0. Mzansi Super League is a premier T20 cricket tournament in South Africa that had its inaugural season in 2018 which was won by Jozi Stars.
The 2019 season of Mzansi Super League is scheduled to start on 8th November at Wanderers with a match between last year's finalists Jozi Stars and Cape Town Blitz. The tournament is played between 6 teams with each team playing a home and an away game against the other 5 teams in the round-robin league stage. The top team in the league stage automatically progresses to the Final whereas 2nd and 3rd ranked teams play an eliminator for a place in the finals with home advantage. The Final 2019 season will be held on the 16th of December.
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It was rather an anti-climatic finish to the inaugural season of Mzansi Super League with Jozi Stars easily defeating the table toppers Cape Town Blitz in a low scoring encounter by 8 wickets. The second season is set to start with an encounter between last year’s finalists – Jozi Stars and Cape Town Blitz.
In the 2019 season, the first game between these two teams did go well for Jozi Stars as they were bundled for 136 within 18 overs chasing 199 set by the Blitz. The stars, however, turned the tables in the next league game by folding the Blitz for 146 defending 196. Daniel Christian (4) and Duanne Oliver (3) took 7 wickets amongst them. Despite being the second-ranked team after the league stage, the Stars got direct entry into the final as the eliminator was abandoned. The Stars and Blitz were up against each other for the third time in the series and the stage was the grand finale.
However, clinical performances from Oliver and Hendricks restricted the Blitz for a meager 113 in 20 overs. It was a cakewalk for the Stars thereon. The Stars have included Shoaib Malik in their squad. Malik had been phenomenal in the Caribbean Premier League. He will take over from Chris Gayle who won’t be available after the 6th game. The Stars will be captained by Temba Bavuma.
Ryan Rickelton, DT Christian, SR Harmer, Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks, Duanne Olivier, Temba Bavuma, Kagiso Rabada, Dane Paterson, Nono Pongolo, Chris Gayle
It will be fair to say that the Blitz had a successful inaugural season of Mzansi Super League in 2019 despite the loss in the finale. The Blitz, with 6 wins and a bonus point topped the table in 2018 and went straight to the finals where they were comprehensively defeated by the Stars by 8 wickets. At the back of twin half-centuries by openers de Kock and Malan the Blitz defeated Stars in their first head-to-head game in 2018 only to have the fortunes reversed in the next head-to-head game in an almost identical manner.
The Blitz would have fancied their chances though having topped the table and playing at home – Cape Town. However, it turned out to be a no-show as the batsmen just couldn’t get a move on and could not even score at run-a-ball despite being just 7 down at the end of the 20 overs. The Blitz must be itching to get back at the Stars but more importantly, they would want to start the season with a win. Quinton de Kock will lead the team with Ashwell Prince as their coach.
Janneman Malan, SSB Magala, Anrich Nortje, DW Steyn, Quinton de Kock, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, George Linde, Mohammad Nawaz, Vernon Philander, Aviwe Mgijima
On the match day, the weather is forecasted to be turning slightly cloudy, however, there won’t be much rain. The daytime temperature is going to reach around 22°c and down to about 14°c at night.
The venue for this match is The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. This is home ground for Jozi Stars. Wanderers is a small ground with short boundaries especially square of the wicket. The iconic ground has hosted the 2003 World Cup Final among many other international matches.
The surface at Wanderers is generally a belter and hence teams prefer chasing here as the conditions stay true throughout the match. This is the place where 434 was once chased. At such venues, teams should prefer to bowl first.
It is tough to call out a winner between these two teams. However, Stars are defending champions for a reason and they have many T20 match-winners in Chris Gayle, Rabada, Christian, Oliver, etc. They also have the home advantage with them. It will be foolish to write off Blitz though, especially after a superlative inaugural Mzansi Super League.
However, stats, current form, and conditions are slightly in favor of the Stars. We predict defending champions Jozi Stars to win the opening match of 2019 Mzansi Super League.
Jozi Stars to win!
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