Relaxed Giants See Further Percentages Against Rocks in MSL

Marco Marais (Nelson Mandela Bay Giants)
©CSA
 

England World Cup-winner Jason Roy has spoken about some of the key attributes that have helped the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants flourish in the 2019 Mzansi Super League (MSL) season so far, saying there was still room for improvement as they prepared to welcome the Paarl Rocks to Port Elizabeth today.

The clash at St George's Park brings together the two top teams in MSL 2.0, with the hosts currently leading the way with 19 points from five games.

They are four points ahead of the visitors, who are also making some good headway this term after reaching the play-offs in 2018.

Roy says that even though the Eastern Cape franchise are top, there is still room for improvement. “We’re keeping it quite relaxed,” he said. “There’s a good chemistry going, the boys are getting on well and we’re training extremely hard.

“The boys are up for it at every training session. We haven’t got complacent either.

“We had a discussion ahead of the last game and the guys were saying that we’re probably up to around seventy-five to eighty percent.

“We haven’t quite got that perfect performance just yet, so I’m excited to see what that perfect performance entails. There’s stuff to improve on, but winning’s winning.”

 

The Giants are still unbeaten this year, winning four out of five games, and Roy hinted what has been their secret to success. “We’re quite resilient and we don’t panic,” he said. “We have had a bit of luck as well, but we’re not going to get complacent, and hope to continue this form into the next few games.”

Roy himself – a winner with England at the 50-over World Cup on home soil in July – has not been in great form. He recorded scores of nought, 31 and one, before finally coming good with his maiden half-century for the Giants in their five-wicket win over Durban Heat in the last game.

The 29-year-old believes he is slowly settling into the competition and looking forward to some strong displays at the business end of proceedings.

“It’s never easy coming in as an overseas pro,” he adds. “There’s always expectation and people want you to come in an get going from the outset, they’re saying ‘he’s the overseas pro and he’s an international player so he must score runs every game’. It’s not like that.

“I’ll be the first to put my hand up and admit that I’ve succumbed to that pressure in the first few games.

“But now I’m feeling a little bit better and my last innings, hopefully it’s the start of something.”

His team have also been bolstered by the announcement that Dutch all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate has been approved as a replacement for Farhaan Behardien for the remainder of the competition.

The Rocks too have a new face within their ranks after they named Ruan de Swardt as a replacement for JP Duminy.

Veteran opener Henry Davids is expecting a closely-fought battle against the log log-leaders in PE. “All the teams are quite strong, it ultimately boils down to on the day how you execute, who does things better and who wants it more,” he concluded. “I think most teams are fairly balanced and fairly equal.

“It will be the team that does their disciplines best who will come out on top.”

The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants squad: Imran Tahir, Jason Roy, Chris Morris, Jon-Jon Smuts (capt), Junior Dala, Matthew Breetzke, Onke Nyaku, Ben Dunk, Heino Kuhn, Marco Marais, Beuran Hendricks, Grant Thomson, Akhona Mnyaka, Ryan ten Doeschate, Nandre Burger, Dylan Matthews.

The Paarl Rocks squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Verreynne, Bjorn Fortuin, James Vince, Dwaine Pretorius, Cameron Delport, Isuru Udana, Tabraiz Shamsi, Hardus Viljoen, Sibonelo Makhanya, Henry Davids, Ruan de Swardt, Mangaliso Mosehle, Ferisco Adams, Kerwin Mungroo, Thando Ntini.

HEAD TO HEAD – Nelson Mandela Bay Giants v Paarl Rocks

Matches Played 02

Giants Win 01

Rocks Win 01

©Cricket World 2019