SPARTANS GAIN A MUCH-NEEDED VICTORY

Dean Elgar masterminded the Tshwane Spartans’ run-chase with an excellent half-century at SuperSport Park to lift the home team off the basement of the Mzansi Super League table.

The Standard Bank Proteas opener was particularly strong straight down the ground, collecting four sixes and five boundaries in his 52–ball innings of 79. This powered the Spartans’ past the Jozi Stars’ 186/5 and to a four-wicket victory.

Despite losing partners regularly at the other end to Stars' off-spinner Simon Harmer (2/26), Elgar remained calm and collected as he hauled in the target. A 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket in just 6.2 overs with AB de Villiers (39 off 21 balls, 2x4, 3x6) set the tempo of the Spartans innings.

But when De Villiers holed out to Ryan Rickelton on the long-off boundary off Dwaine Pretorius’ bowling, it allowed the Jozi Stars to claw themselves back into the contest.

The match was on a knife-edge heading into the last over with the Spartans requiring four runs off the final six balls. This was reduced to three runs of four balls before Zimbabwe international Sean Williams edged a Beuran Hendricks full toss to the third man boundary to edge the Spartans over the line.

The Stars had earlier done very well to post a competitive total. This was primarily due to a sparkling cameo from Pite van Biljon, who muscled his way to 42 off just 13 balls.

Standard Bank Proteas opening batsman Reeza Hendricks (55 off 48 balls) had provided the early momentum with a 46-ball half-century for the Jozi Stars, but the visitors from across the Jukskei River seemed to have lost their way against the spin during the middle overs when they were reduced to 112/3 at the end of the 15th over.

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