Khaya Zondo was one of the stand-out performers in Durban Heat’s win over Cape Town Blitz, scoring 67 off 42 balls, at Newlands yesterday. BackpagePix
FOR all the permutations the rest of the teams in the Mzansi Super League have to contend with this week, the one certainty is that Cape Town Blitz will host the inaugural final at Newlands on Sunday.

It is just reward for Ashwell Prince and his team, who have been the most consistent outfit in the competition so far. Prince will hope though that his team bring greater intensity to the showpiece than was on display yesterday afternoon. Perhaps the knowledge that first place on the standings was already secured prior to the start of their clash against the Durban Heat yesterday was a contributing factor, but the Blitz put in a shoddy display both in the field and with the bat to lose by six wickets.

The fielding was particularly poor with regulation catches being shelled that allowed the Heat to gain momentum in their run chase. Veteran opening batsman Morne van Wyk was the first beneficiary, with the 39-year-old being dropped by Asif Ali at point off Nandre Burger when only on three.

The Blitz were made to rue this lost opportunity with Van Wyk anchoring the Heat innings with 58 runs off 46 balls. It was not just Van Wyk who benefited from the Blitz’ generosity though. Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo offered Khaya Zondo two lifelines, which he took full advantage of to guide the Heat to just their second victory of the campaign with 67 off just 42 balls.

Equally, Prince will hope that Quinton de Kock maintains his blistering form in this week’s final after the Proteas opening batsman was once again the mainstay of the Blitz’s 161/6.

De Kock scored 86 not out off just 55 balls that propelled him to summit of the tournament run-scorers list with 407 runs.

But like yesterday proved, the Blitz are going to require greater contributions from their misfiring middle order if they are to be crowed inaugural Mzansi Super League champions.

English import Dawid Malan’s consistent struggles is becoming more than just a nagging issue, while the form of Phelukwayo, Ali and captain Farhaan Behardien is equally concerning.

There was at least some relief with Mohammad Nawaz showing a hint of a return to form with a handy cameo towards the back-end before he was run out for 23 off the final ball of the innings.

At least, Prince and his team have the entire week to work on these faults unlike the rest of their rivals, who will be entangled in a tussle for second and third place and the chance to face the Blitz at Newlands this weekend.