Cape Town – Fans streaming into Newlands for the Mzansi Super League clash between the Cape Town Blitz and Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on Wednesday evening are in for a special treat.
Both teams are unbeaten after the first weekend of action with the Blitz sitting top of the log after two victories.
The Blitz opened the tournament with a 49-run win over the Tshwane Spartans before defeating the Durban Heat by three wickets at Kingsmead on Sunday.
The Giants overcame the Jozi Stars at the Wanderers by five wickets on Saturday.
But now both teams will now be boosted even further with the addition of the Proteas that arrived back home from their victorious tour of Australia on Monday.
Giants coach Eric Simons, especially, is pretty pleased to have the services of leg-spinner Imran Tahir and all-rounder Chris Morris at his disposal.
“We’ve always been a very balanced squad but the arrival of Imran Tahir and Chris Morris obviously adds new depth, new dimension and new experience to the side,” Simons said.
“It’s always a nice position to be in when you can have good, tough conversations about selection. Nobody deserves to be left out of the game, but obviously we have two international cricketers coming back and we want the best side in the field against Cape Town Blitz.
“They are also a very good team and they have got wins under the belt as well, and we are looking forward to a very exciting game on Wednesday.”
Equally, Blitz coach Ashwell Prince will welcome his team captain, Farhaan Behardien, into the fold for the first time. Behardien will take over from England international Dawid Malan, who has left for the United Arab Emirates to play in the Abu Dhabi T10.
The Blitz are further boosted with the arrival of Proteas wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo. Along with the in-form Pakistani international Asif Ali, who clubbed 80 off 33 balls against the Heat, the Blitz are looking like the early front-runners in the competition.
“I have always been of the opinion that the standard of our domestic T20 competition is really good, and that’s mostly without our Proteas players. So, when you add the Proteas and two/three internationals, you have a good product,” Prince said.
“Every game, though, is a different challenge, and there is homework to be done on all their players. We will prepare accordingly and you have to counter anything they have to offer.”