Couch Critic provides the betting preview for the Mzansi Super League match between Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Tshwane Spartans which takes place on Tuesday 3rd December
NELSON MANDELA BAY GIANTS vs TSHWANE SPARTANS - Port Elizabeth (Tuesday, 03 December – 17:30)
We are officially in the finishing straight of the tournament with both theses sides left with only two matches to play once this clash in the Eastern Cape has been concluded. It’s second versus third with plenty to play for in PE on Tuesday.
Setting the Scene:
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants almost looked to be home and dry a week ago yet two straight losses have left them in need of a win to get them to the brink of playoff qualification. Since they are also directly facing the team tied for the second spot alongside them it just makes this clash so much more enticing. Of late their seamers have let them down a bit whilst the batsmen haven’t really been able to kick on and ensure a 180 plus total.
The Spartans came unstuck against the Blitz on Sunday despite a good innings from Pite van Biljon late on. They should however be pretty pleased that their bowlers have now put in three strong efforts in a row – Roelof van der Merwe and Morne Morkel in particular leading the charge.
When they were due to play their first encounter against each other the Giants had the Pretoria outfit on their knees with a handful of early wickets before rain intervened.
Let’s Talk Tactics:
Tahir has been a constant for NMB but of late the likes of Dala and Morris haven’t been able to give him the support required. Nandre Burger will surely be recalled as the Giants try and regain some momentum with the ball. Batting wise the lineup have all had stages of pitching in but they are still waiting on Jason Roy to deliver a match-winning innings. For mind the loss of Behardien has been bigger than most may have expected.
The opening combo of De Bruyn and Elgar flopped the last two times of asking. With AB, Klaasen and Pite all ready to strike in the second half of the innings they really do require a solid base to be set from which to launch. On a positive note for the Tshwane team Mr 360 seems to have found about 300 degrees of his range at present and once that last 60 comes AB could be winning them games on his own. It was also important for the team to see both Van Biljon and captain Klaasen show some form in recent times. Bowling wise Morne Morkel has been a cut above as he’s led the attack superbly.
I am a bit worried that my pre-tournament favourites are dropping their game at the wrong time. Somehow the attack is starting to struggle a bit and Roy still hasn’t come good with the willow. The Spartans have guys who appear to be reaching their best levels and despite St George’s being a bit of a fortress for the home side I see the Spartans coming down to the coast and pulling off the win.
In terms of six hitting I think Van Biljon could be a danger now that he has had some good time at the crease. At the odds offered I have to have a nibble on the Spartans finisher. In contrast De Bruyn has looked a touch out of it the last few matches and is hardly one of the biggest strikers of the cricket ball.
Smuts is in form and has been striding to the wicket at first drop. Given the price offered he is a great play that I will be sinking my teeth into. Lastly I think Morne Morkel is one of the best bowlers in the comp at present. But St George’s is a slower track where balls often stop on the batsmen. Yes, the quicks have also enjoyed some good success here but as big Morne is more of a hit the deck bowler I will opt for the bigger price offered on a man who has picked up six wickets in his last three outings.
(Note, all odds quoted are subject to change)
Enjoy the cricket and happy punting!