A critically sparkling century by Quinton de Kock lifted the Cape Town Blitz from the midst of a slump to rise above the challenge of the Tshwane Spartans and set up a bonus-point 60-run Mzansi Super League win in Centurion on Saturday.
The Standard Bank Proteas opener dazzled the crowd with his 108 (55 balls, 10 fours, 5 sixes) – his fourth Twenty20 ton – and one that enabled the log leaders to set a competitive 173.
The home side then struggled in their reply, folding for a competition low of 112 all out thanks to three wickets apiece by Mohammad Nawaz (3/14) and Nandre Burger (3/19).
The Spartans were eventually all out in 18.2 overs to hand a vital win to the Blitz, who stretched their total to 25 points at the top of the table, six ahead of the second-placed Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.
But how the Cape side would have struggled had it not been for De Kock’s dizzy innings.
The South Africa wicketkeeper initially shared in an opening stand of 83 from 8.5 overs with Janneman Malan, the only other batsmen in the visitors’ innings to reach double figures after he made 34.
The log leaders then hit a grey patch that saw them bizarrely lose their next eight wickets for only 17 runs, although De Kock was the fortunate one to survive the collapse.
He then found an able partner in Malusi Siboto (nine not out) as the pair took the score from 101 for eight to 158 – a key 57-run stand.
They eventually ended on 172 for nine as Sean Williams (2/14), Corbin Bosch (2/27) and Jeevan Mendis (2/33) all ended with two wickets each.
The chase was a disappointing one for the home side, especially after the first two wickets fell. Top-scorer Dean Elgar (37) and Gihahn Cloete (16) opened up with 29, before the former and Theunis de Bruyn (10) carried the score to 64 for one in the ninth over.
But it all went wrong from there with Nawaz first striking, before Siboto (2/14) nabbed the key wicket of AB de Villiers for seven.
Wickets continued to fall regularly as the Spartans were rolled over with 10 balls to spare, the result leaving them second bottom on the table.