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Fortuin stars for Rocks in derby

The Paarl Rocks won their big Cape Derby against the Cape Town Blitz in the Mzansi Super League at Eurolux Boland Park on Sunday. Local boy Bjorn Fortuin, who won the man-of-the-match award after an inspired spell of left-arm spin bowling (4-0-15-4), and captain Faf du Plessis’ (54 off 39 balls, 7x4) were the star performers for the Rocks in front of a big and loud home crowd.

The Blitz’s Farhaan Behardien won the toss and elected to bat first. A blitzkrieg by Quinton de Kock (39), Janneman Malan (29) and Andile Phehlukwayo (24) meant that the visitors were well and truly in command at 82/1 after 10 overs before the home town boy struck. First, Fortuin had de Kock caught by Du Plessis at mid-wicket before he dismissed the rest of the Blitz top four in quick succession.

Dane Paterson (4-0-23-3) ensured that wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals and the Cape team was eventually all out for 140 in their allotted 20 overs.

The Rocks’ innings began in disastrous fashion when both Henry Davids (1) and Aiden Markram (2) fell early to Dale Steyn, but a third wicket partnership of 67 between Du Plessis and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (32 off 26 balls, 4x4) steadied the home team’s ship.

Du Plessis was eventually controversially dismissed when the off-field umpire had to intervene after a waist-high full toss was adjudged to be a no-ball by the on-field umpires, but overturned by the third umpire.

Mangaliso Mosehle (28* off 26 balls, 1x4) played a very mature innings at the back-end and it was left to Fortuin to hit the winning runs and he duly obliged by smashing a straight drive for four to send the 7 000 strong crowd in a frenzy.

Afterwards, at the post match media conference, Fortuin, who plays his domestic franchise cricket for the Wanderers based Highveld Lions, spoke glowingly about the Boland crowd. “I don’t think I’ve played in front of a better crowd than this to be honest. Not too long ago I was one of the kids sitting here on the grass banks and it was just a special occasion for me. To see familiar faces in the crowd was unbelievable,” he said.

The Rock’s next game at Eurolux Boland Park is on Sunday at 11:00 against the star-studded Durban Heat who has Hashim Amla, David Miller, Vernon Philander and Heinrich Klaasen, to name a few, in their squad.

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