Cape Town - Superstar batsman Chris Gayle has thrown his weight behind Reeza Hendricks possibly scoring a third successive Mzansi Super League century in their potentially explosive opening batting partnership for Jozi Stars, ahead of their away clash with Cape Town Blitz at Newlands tomorrow night (7pm start).
Gayle, the West Indian master blaster, is back in the country after playing the opening fixture, with Stars now starting to find crucial tournament momentum with consecutive victories over Durban Heat and the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants aided by special Hendricks back-to-back centuries.
“I’d like to see Hendricks make it three in a row - that would be nice to see. I think he also knows the (Newlands) conditions well,” said Gayle, in the pre-match press conference on Monday.
“You guys keep mentioning my name, but it is Hendricks that you should be wary off. With his form, it takes some pressure off me. If given a chance to play in the match, I am looking forward to opening the batting with him and to hopefully have a good start for the team.
“Reeza is a top international player, who has proved that in the last two matches. He has scored back-to-back hundreds that have helped in putting us in a winning position as team, he has been brilliant and hopefully he can carry on.”
Stars line up against the pace setters Blitz, with the home team aiming at maintaining their fine campaign where a win will almost certainly put them in pole position for a home final on December 16.
However, the tournament’s leading run scorer, Hendricks, Gayle and a bowling unit led by fast bowler, Kagiso Rabada can potentially upset the apple-cart.
Gayle said: “It is good to be back for Stars who are peaking at the right time and look at getting a good win under our belt against the top guns tomorrow…hopefully, we can continue our winning ways.”
Blitz will also have their returning international marquee player, Dawid Malan, who stood in as captain in the opening three matches of the tournament, giving coach Ashwell Prince a good headache in his selection ahead of the fixture.
However, Malan refused any complacency or talk that the Capetonians might have one foot in the final, saying: “I wouldn’t go that far. Momentum is key, and in the time that I haven’t been here, the team has played very well. It is good being at the top, but it means we are being chased by everyone else. We want to keep momentum for the three remaining games and hopefully get to the final.”