The Jozi Stars suffered their sixth defeat in as many games in the Mzansi Super League on Sunday, when they were outshone by Paarl Rocks at the Wanderers.
At the conclusion of the game, Rocks were at the top of the log with defending champions Stars occupying last place.
In truth, the match could have gone either way, with Man of the Match Sibonelo Makhanya’s unbeaten 63 off 47 balls ultimately swinging the match in his team’s favour.
Makhanya’s captain, Faf du Plessis, won the toss and decided to send in Rassie van der Dussen and his teammates to bat.
Sri Lanka left-arm seamer Isuru Udana (2/29) gave them an early breakthrough when he had Ryan Rickleton caught off his bowling by James Vince at midwicket for just six runs.
Temba Bavuma (37) then joined fellow Proteas ace Reeza Hendricks in the middle and the duo took the score from 10/1 to 109 before the former sliced a Tabraiz Shamsi delivery into the hands of Cameron Delport at cover.
Hendricks, though, pushed on and scored 74 off 53 balls, with Van der Dussen (28*) and Shoaib Malik (20*) adding valuable runs to get Stars to 171/3 in their 20 overs.
Rocks couldn’t have imagined a worse start to their run-chase, losing Henry Davids (0) to Kagiso Rabada’s (3/36) first ball of the innings.
Just 38 runs later, they were three down and in trouble.
Delport, though, continued to fight and smashed 32 off 16 balls, before he was removed by Duanne Olivier (2/39).
At 53/4, Makhanya joined Kyle Verreynne in the middle and the duo brought their team back into the match with a superb 63-run fifth-wicket partnership.
When Verreynne (28) became Olivier’s second victim, Rocks still needed 46 runs off 32 balls with four wickets in hand.
With the match in the balance, Makhanya continued to play his strokes to smash five fours and two sixes, with Udana (28* off 16) helping to finish the job.