Nelson Mandela Bay Giants vs Tshwane Spartans, Eliminator T20 Match Prediction2019-12-14
St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
Would Tshwane Spartans ride their luck to beat Nelson Mandela Bay Giants?
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants to win!
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The group stages of the MSL 2019 are done and dusted. It was a close fight between Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Paarl Rocks for the top spot. Both teams ended on the same points in the end but Paarl Rocks secured the top spot courtesy better head-to-head record against the Giants.
The Rocks have beaten the Giants in both the league matches this season. The fight was equally fierce for the third spot between Tshwane Spartans and Durban Heat. Both ended on the league stage with 3 wins and 5 no-result games.
However, a bonus point edged Tshwane Spartans ahead to secure a spot in the top three. As per the format of the tournament, Paarl Rocks move directly to the final. Spartans and the Giants would play each other in an eliminator on 13th December 2019 to decide who plays Paarl Rocks in the grand finale at Paarl. Brace yourself for the virtual semi-final of MSL 2019 this Friday.
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Nelson Mandela Bay Giants might rue the chance to top the table in their last league game, a virtual semi-final, against Paarl Rocks. They lost the match by 12 runs and ended up second in the points table despite having the same points as that of Paarl Rocks by virtue of worse head-to-head record this tournament. The Rocks batted first and scored decent but chasable 168 in the 20 overs. The Giants, however, could manage only 156 for the loss of six wickets by the end of the second innings.
The crucial moment in the match was the run-out of the captain JJ Smuts who took his time and looked set to steer Giants home. Smuts is among the top 10 run-scorers of the tournament and second-highest run scorer for the Giants behind Ben Dunk. Heino Kuhn did fight till the end but even he could score the 23 needed off the last over to secure a win and top spot for the Giants. The Giants have, arguably, been the best team of the tournament so far. They have 2 batsmen - Ben Dunk and JJ Smuts - among the top run scorers and 3 bowlers – Imran Tahir, Junior Dala, and Chris Morris, among the top 10 wicket-takers with Imran Tahir topping the list. The Giants have all the bases covered and it would be a shame if they don’t reach the finals.
Key Players: Ben Dunk, Imran Tahir, Junior Dala
Ben Dunk, Heino Kuhn, Akhona Mnyaka, Nandre Burger, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Marco Marais, Chris Morris, Matthew Breetzke, RN ten Doeschate, JJ Smuts, Imran Tahir
Unarguably Tshwane Spartans are the luckiest team of the MSL 2019. Despite winning just 3 of the 10 league games they are just a win away from the shot at the championship. They will play Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in the eliminator on Friday. The Spartans needed a win or an abandonment of the match to secure the third spot whereas Cape Town Blitz needed a win. However, the rain gods favored the Spartans who secured crucial two points in a no-result game.
There was still a chance of Tshwane Spartans not reaching the top three if Durban Heat had managed to beat so far winless Jozi Stars in the last league game of the season. However, that match was a washout too handing the third sport to Tshwane Spartans on a platter. The washout against the Giants earlier in the tournament when the Spartans were 33 for 4 and also the one against Cape Town Blitz, who have more wins than the Spartans in the league stage and who had beaten the Spartans earlier in the league, were the crucial no-result games that helped Spartans secure a place in the top three.
Would luck keep favoring the Spartans or would the Giants, clearly a batter team in this tournament, make it to the final?
Key Players: AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi
AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, RE Van Der Merwe, Heinrich Klaasen, Imran Manack, Lutho Sipamla, Tony de Zorzi, Morne Morkel, D Wiese, Corbin Bosch, PJ van Biljon
There have been no washouts at this venue in MSL 2019. The conditions on Friday are going to be sunny, humid with a bit of breeze. Perfect conditions to play the game of cricket. The day time temperature will be around 26°c and at night it would be around 18°c.
The match is scheduled to be played at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth. This is a home venue for Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. It's a very good surface for batting and there have been some high scoring successful chases at this venue in the MSL 2019 – highest being the chase of 189 runs by the Giants against the Spartans.
The conditions at St George's Park remain true for batting through the match. The scores of above 185 have already been chased twice at this venue in this season. Of the 5 matches in MSL 2019, 3 have been won by teams batting second. The team winning the toss should bowl first here.
The rains are completely out of the picture on Friday. The Spartans would have to perform on the field to get to finals. A team that has players like AB de Villiers is never out of the game. However, the Giants have been a consistent team throughout the MSL 2019 and they have many match-winners in their ranks, especially Ben Dunk and Imran Tahir. The Spartans would have to put up their A-game and even that may not be enough against this Giants team. Thus, we predict Nelson Mandela Bay Giants to win the eliminator to reach the finals.
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants to win!
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