Cape Town — Paarl Rocks captain Faf du Plessis has highlighted the importance of winning their Mzansi Super League clash against Jozi Stars at Boland Park on Friday, before they head on the road for the crunch part of the competition.
The Cape side, so good and so well supported in front of their home fans in both seasons of MSL thus far, suffered a rare loss there on Sunday when they were pipped at the post by the Tshwane Spartans in a high-scoring affair.
It was their first loss of the season to go with their one win and one washout and they are now looking for a reaction against the bottom-of-the-table defending champions, who have been poor thus far.
"It's important that you try and bounce back quickly, try and rectify the mistakes you made," Du Plessis said. "It's a big game for us on Friday to make sure we can turn that momentum around quickly.
"I find that in T20 cricket especially, once you get into a winning streak or a losing streak for that matter, you can either go up or you can go down. We will try and be as professional as possible to make sure we can get our momentum swing back on Friday."
More importantly, Du Plessis is determined to claim all the points from what is the final match at their Paarl fortress before heading on the road for three quick games. They are only back at home for the last two round-robin fixtures in December and by then, the log table could be more or less decided.
"The fans have been amazing and again provided us with some great energy (on Sunday)," he stated. "It was good fun.
"We are back in front of them on Friday and then we've got three games on the bounce away, so it's important we win that last one here before heading on the road."
For the Stars, their season can hardly get much worse. They have lost all four games thus far and are seemingly in freefall.
Some of their senior stars cannot buy a run and they capitulated for just 108 in their last game against the table-topping Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.
Captain Temba Bavuma admits things have been tough, but he remains confident that his side has what it takes to still make MSL 2.0 a success.
"We're rock bottom at the moment, so every game now becomes key for us just in terms of turning things around and trying to get some momentum going," he said.
"We have had opportunities to win games so far, but we just haven't been able to do that.
"Guys are aware that as a team we are looking for individuals to stand up and put in match-winning performances so that's what the focus will be on."
Play starts on Friday at 17:30.
Isuru Udana, Tabraiz Shamsi, Hardus Viljoen, Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Verreynne, Bjorn Fortuin, James Vince, Dwaine Pretorius, Cameron Delport, Sibonelo Makhanya, Henry Davids, Mangaliso Mosehle, Ferisco Adams, Kerwin Mungroo, Thando Ntini
Kagiso Rabada, Chris Gayle, Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks, Daniel Christian, Temba Bavuma (capt), Duanne Olivier, Simon Harmer, Ryan Rickelton, Aaron Phangiso, Lizaad Williams, Sinethemba Qeshile, Nono Pongolo, Gerald Coetzee, Delano Potgieter, Dane Paterson
- Cricket South Africa