Jozi Stars v Paarl Rocks: Dim Stars show no signs of brightening

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib starred for Guyana

Ed Hawkins previews the Mzansi Super League clash on Sunday from Jo'burg with the Rocks expected to get back on track...

"We don't have huge drive to get involved but if the match odds are a must for you, look to book in on Rocks at 1.804/5 in-play"

Jozi Stars v Paarl Rocks
Sunday 1 December 08.00
TV: live on Bt Sport 3

Six of the worst

We haven't seen the Rocks for a while. This is a relief to us and, no doubt, them. It's six straight losses and they sit bottom of the pile with their hopes of progress up in flames. It's an extraordinary record for the champions.

We await to see whether a rest has done them good. A change might have. Chris Gayle, who stank the place out, should be replaced by Shoaib Malik, who was excellent for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League. He should give them the balance Gayle did not.

In his last game, Gayle produced an innings of note. His half-century set up Stars for a victory chance against Tshwane Spartans. Set 156 to win, they looked home and hosed at 113 for two in 13th. But they collapsed to 135 all out.

Probable XI Hendricks, van der Dussen, Malik, Bavuma, Christian, Qeshile, Snyman, Phangiso, Rabada, Williams, Olivier

Ready to hit back

The Rocks are hurting after they flopped in a big game against Tshwane. Looking to consolidate their position in the top - and their burgeoning reputation as one of the best teams - their batsmen went missing. Bowled out for 126, it was no contest.

They may consider it one of those bonkers things that happen in the format every now and then. And certainly to look at their batting line-up, it looks unlikely to be repeated. Still, they do need more from Henry Davids and Cameron Delport in the opening berth. Both are underperforming.

As we have said before, there is nothing wrong with the bowling unit. It ticks all the boxes but even the likes of Tabraiz Shamsi are unable to do much of the batters don't step up.

Probable XI Davids, Delport, Du Plessis, Vince, Makhanya, Fortuin, Mosehle, Adams, Udana, Viljoen, Shamsi

Eight an over the target

More than 160 is a must at Jo'burg with the average over a whopper of a study period (68) games coming in at 162. Bust 170 and teams are defending around 70% of the time. Despite that, the wicket remains true over the course of the match. Witness some of the monster totals that have been chased down - three times more than 200. The weather forecast is good.

Need more from Rocks price

Stars have got to win some time right, particularly in this unpredictable format? Maybe. But a seventh-straight loss would be nothing when you look at the records for consecutive defeats. Sydney Thunder lost 19 in a row between 2011 and 2014. And the record books are littered with teams with far worse records than Stars.

That puts the Stars' price of around 2.305/4 when it settles into perspective. The Rocks are expected to go off at about 1.705/7. We don't have huge drive to get involved but if the match odds are a must for you, look to book in on Rocks at 1.804/5 in-play.

Breezy Reeza

We've swerved Reeza Hendricks so far for a top-bat wager but now could be the time to get involved with an impressive win rate in the last two years. Perversely, like Shai Hope for West Indies, he could be better off without Gayle in the team, allowing him to play a more natural game. Or Hendricks had his nose out of joint not being the main man. Prices of around 3/1 could appeal with Sportsbook.

It's a conundrum whether to go in Davids for Rocks. It would be typical that, in the one game we shied away, he came out on top but the price has to be right. Nothing less than 10/3 will do with his hit rate beginning to diminish. We also note that Faf Du Plessis is overdue a score and winner on the market.

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