Durban - Following a freak blow to the hand standing at the non-strikers end on Friday evening, Durban Heat captain Albie Morkel will undergo a late fitness test to determine his availability for the Heat’s fourth Mzansi Super League clash with the Paarl Rocks at Kingsmead on Wednesday evening.
Morkel was forced to retire in the match against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants after the blow. His retirement was a setback for the Heat who have relied on the big-hitting left hander throughout the campaign.
“Albie is very bullish about his chances of playing on Wednesday evening,” coach Grant Morgan said. “It has been diagnosed that he has severe bruising and in his mind he wants to play but we will wait to make that call.
“We’ve seen what he has given us through his performances so far in the competition, so he is going to do everything in his power to be ready.”
The tournament card shows a win and two losses so far in the campaign, but the Durban Heat will need to bounce back against the Paarl Rocks, a team that beat the table topping Cape Town Blitz on Sunday, if they want to make strides up the table.
Spinner Keshav Maharaj has been a vital cog in the side through the early stages of the campaign, taking some key wickets, and he believes that the side is approaching each game with the right attitude.
“The mentality of the team hasn’t changed from the start of the tournament,” Maharaj said.
“We have looked to be really positive and have trained hard so it isn’t a question of work ethic or anything like that.
“There is a good core of senior players and youth but we haven’t quite clicked on the batting front unfortunately so far.”
The Heat will be hoping that the senior batsmen in the side can stand up going into the middle period of the Mzansi Super League, and they are confident that the batting unit will begin to fire.
“We have got a lot of talented, experienced cricketers,” Heat batsman Dave Miller said.
“There are a lot of players who have international experience so there definitely isn’t any panic.
“It’s great now that in the next two weeks we have six games and if we get onto a roll then the momentum is with us.
“We know that momentum in T20 cricket is massive and we have regrouped and came into this week with fresh minds and ready to go!”
With two games against the Paarl Rocks this week, straddling a trip to Johannesburg to play the Jozi Stars on Friday, it is a busy week for the Heat who will have a better idea of where they stand in the competition after matches against all the opposition.
Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketpro.co.za and at Kingsmead Stadium.
More information can be found at www.durbanheat.co.za.
Durban Heat Fixtures:
28 Nov 19:00 Durban Heat v Paarl Rocks Kingsmead, Durban
30 Nov 19:00 Jozi Stars v Durban Heat Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
02 Dec 11:00 Paarl Rocks v Durban Heat Eurolux Boland Park, Paarl
05 Dec 19:00 Durban Heat v Nelson Mandela Giants Kingsmead, Durban
07 Dec 14:00 Durban Heat v Jozi Stars Kingsmead, Durban
09 Dec 15:30 Cape Town Blitz v Durban Heat PPC Newlands, Cape Town
12 Dec 19:00 Tshwane Spartans v Durban Heat SuperSport Park, Centurion
Durban Heat Squad:
Hashim Amla, Rashid Khan, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Abbott, Keshav Maharaj, Khaya Zondo, Albie Morkel, Marchant de Lange, Vernon Philander, Brandon Mavuta, Temba Bavuma, Morné van Wyk, Okuhle Cele, Sarel Erwee, Tladi Bokako.