Tshwane Spartans: competitions
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Tshwane Spartans: Current SquadSikandar Raza All-rounder
Tshwane Spartans: franchise club from South Africa
Tshwane Spartans is a franchise team that represents Centurion (Gauteng) in the Mzansi Super League Twenty20 since 2018. The team’s home ground is SuperSport Park, with a capacity of over 22 thousand people. The colors of the uniform are gray and red.
Tshwane Spartans became one of the league’s teams on the eve of the first draw, relying not only on local cricketers, but also stars from abroad. Their main acquisition was the famous Eoin Morgan, a star of English cricket and a long-term national team captain. In addition, the Centurions managed to sign Jeevan Mendis (Sri Lanka) and Sean Williams (Zimbabwe). AB de Villiers was appointed to the post of captain.
The starting draw started for Tshwane Spartans with a failure. Having lost to the future finalists of Cape Town Blitz with a difference of 47 runs, they did not approach the match against Paarl Rocks in the best conditions, but they were still able to scratch out a victory, beating the opponents by one run. The team could not find its game for a long time: after suffering two unnecessary defeats, Tshwane Spartans did not easily beat the Jozi Stars, who picked up speed on the home field, but they could not continue the winning streak, losing to Cape Town. Only successful games against the same Paarl Rocks and Nelson Mandela Bay Giants helped them not slide to the bottom of the standings, but this was still not enough to reach the playoffs. The team finished the year on the fifth line, having recorded several mini-records. So, the best players were recognized:
- Theunis de Bruyn – away match against Paarl Rocks;
- Dean Elgar – a home match against Jozi Stars;
- Lutho Sipamla – a home match against Paarl Rocks;
- Gihahn Cloete – away match against Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.
Before the start of the 2019 season, the team was updated: the owners managed to sign Pite van Biljon and Donavon Ferreira (South Africa), Tom Curran took the place of Eoin Morgan, and Heinrich Klaasen was entrusted with the position of captain.
The second league draw was paradoxical for Tshwane Spartans: on the one hand, half of the matches in which they took part were canceled due to adverse weather conditions, but on the other hand, the points scored were enough to qualify for the playoffs. Of the five games completed, the Spartans won three – an away game against Paarl Rocks (the best player is Dean Elgar), an away game against Jozi Stars (the best player is AB de Villiers) and a home game against the same Paarl Rocks (the best player is Roelof van der Merwe).
Having made it to the semifinals from the third line, Tshwane Spartans confidently beat Nelson Mandela Bay Giants with a difference of 22 runs, but in the final, the twice defeated Paarl Rocks (147/6 – 148/2) were stronger.
The team is currently coached by Marc Boucher.
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Tshwane Spartans: the best players
Tshwane Spartans managed to enter their name in the Mzansi Super League Twenty20 record book already in the first draw, despite failing to get into the playoffs. Subsequently, the franchise’s players were repeatedly included in the lists of the best of the best:
- In 2018, Gihahn Cloete became the fourth in the league batsman’s race (330 runs), and Jeevan Mendis and Lutho Sipamla took the second and third places in the list of the best bowlers (16 wickets each);
- A year later, AB de Villiers became the third in the batsman’s race with 325 runs, and Morne Morkel took fourth place in the list of the most effective bowlers (12 wickets).
Tshwane Spartans: records
Like any franchise, Tshwane Spartans has its own record book, where the most successful players automatically get into:
- The best batsmen of the team at the moment are AB de Villiers (607 runs), Dean Elgar (418 runs) and Gihahn Cloete (330 runs);
- The most effective pair of batsmen was formed by Theunis de Bruyn and Dean Elgar, who scored 104 runs for two in an away match against Paarl Rocks on November 17, 2019;
- The best bowlers are Lutho Sipamla (17 wickets), Jeevan Mendis (16 wickets) and Morne Morkel (12 wickets).