The Mzansi Super League has hit the halfway stage and has produced cracking cricket to date, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
Here are the top performers of each team thus far (in order of log positions):
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
The Giants have lived up to their name this season. They’re undefeated, doing the double against the Stars (winning the first encounter by 24 runs and the second by nine wickets) and beating both the Blitz and Heat by five wickets, while the showdown with the Spartans rained out. As a result, they top the log on 19 points, four ahead of the second-placed Paarl Rocks.
Smuts has led the log leaders by example, scoring 138 runs at an average of 46. His 73 off 51 balls against the Blitz was a joy to watch, with the Proteas ace smashing two sixes and eight fours in the five-wicket home win. He’s been well-supported, which has been one of the keys of the men from Port Elizabeth’s success.
Australian Ben Dunk has contributed 100 runs, including an unbeaten 50 (four sixes and four fours) off 30 against the Stars, and England star Jason Roy 82, including a 38-ball half-century (two sixes and five fours) in a Man of the Match performance against the Heat on Saturday.
Chris Morris has been immense as well; he has a team-best average (61) and played a match-winning 22-run gem off 10 against the Heat. Needing 15 from the final over, the composed Proteas all-round hit a six off the first ball, a single, got back on strike and hit back-to-back fours to seal the deal.
The Zambian-born quick has looked extra motivated and has reaped rewards for his high energy. Running in hard, Dala has ripped through batsmen and sits second on the leading wicket-takers list with nine scalps. He was at the peak of his powers against the Stars, taking 3/19 in four overs.
Proteas spin wizard Imran Tahir is one of the best T20 bowlers in the world and has done his reputation no harm, taking seven wickets at a team-best economy rate of 5.83. His best performance also came against the Stars, when he took 3/23 in four overs.
Demonstrating his all-round class, Morris has been excellent with the ball as well. He’s taken six wickets, including 2/8 against the Spartans, with an economy rate of 6.7. He’s been THE talisman of the team.