Cape Town – In a rain affected game at Kingsmead Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, the Durban Heat opened their Mzansi Super League account with a 10 run victory, via the DLS method, over the Tshwane Spartans.
The game was an exciting contest throughout with both sides seizing the initiative at different stages in an enthralling game of 19 over-a-side cricket after early rain meant the deduction of one over.
After winning the toss the Heat chose to field first. It was a tentative start from both sides and with the score on 27 the Heat struck, debutant Tdladi Bokako had Theunis de Bruyn caught for seven. 19 runs later captain Albie Morkel had Tony de Zorzi caught behind for eight.
Gihahn Cloete batted will for the visitors and he and the danger man AB de Villiers put on 17 before Keshav Maharaj had De Villiers trapped in front for 10.
From there seamers Kyle Abbott (4/27) and Marchant de Lange (1/16) bowled well in tandem with the pair putting together combined figures of eight overs, five for 43 runs.
“I thought that Marchant (De Lange) deserved a few more wickets,” man of the match Kyle Abbott said after the game.
“I think he might have softened them up for me to come in and take the wickets.
“He’s an impact bowler and we have known that for years. I think that he is in the right environment here to showcase his skill which is really exciting for us.”
Cloete finished with 55 and he was De Lange’s only victim. From that stage it was Abbott who went about destroying the Spartans’ middle order and helping the Heat restrict the men from the capital to 139 for nine in their 19 overs.
In the chase the Heat started carefully with openers Morné van Wyk and Hashim Amla putting on 24 for the first wicket before Van Wyk departed for 22 from 16 deliveries in the fifth over.
35 runs later Heat debutant Heinrich Klaasen was caught for 21 and then a run later Amla was caught behind off the bowling of Andrew Birch for 24.
Another Heat debutant David Miller fell cheaply for seven and the Heat were 83 for four at the end of the thirteenth over.
Khaya Zondo and captain Morkel then came together with the weather approaching and the pair repeated their heroics from match day one when they put on a match winning partnership of 40.
Zondo batted fluently for his 25 off 11 balls until he was caught off the bowling of Lutho Sipamla.
Morkel then blasted his way to 26 from 12 balls before he too fell victim to the young quick. Morkel managed to hit Sikandar Raza’s second over for 19 which put the Heat ahead on the infamous DLS system.
“I knew that the rain was coming and it had started drizzling and so when that overcame I was going to have a go,” Morkel said.
“Luckily Khaya and myself got a few boundaries and got us ahead of the rate before the rain came.”
The Heat put in a strong fielding display taking some tough catches which was backed up by good bowling on the most part. To see those sorts of catches go to hand is pleasing for Morkel in a game that can be won and lost on tight chances.
“To come out here after the disappointment of Sunday and to field the way that we did was very satisfying.
“I was very proud of the effort the guys put in in the field and the bowlers also stuck to their plans and executed well.”
The Durban Heat travel to Nelson Mandela Bay to take on the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in their third match of the Mzansi Super League starting at 7pm on Friday evening at St George’s Park.
Scores in brief:
Durban Heat 139/9 (Cloete 55, Abbott 4/27)
Tshwane Spartans 129/6 (Morkel 26, Zondo 25, Sipamla 3/22)
Heat won by 10 runs.