Jason Roy of the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants plays a shot during their Mzansi Super League game against the Durban Heat at St Georges Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

PORT ELIZABETH – Solid hard-hitting from Chris Morris and a classy 50 of 38 delivers by player of the match Jason Roy saw the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants record a five wicket victory against the Durban Heat in the Mzansi Super League on Saturday. 

The MSL campaign has been criticised so far due to the cricket played, but this was certainly a good display.

The Giants required 16 of the final over and the Heat would have been the favourites especially as Malusi Siboto who was fresh of a double-wicket over was to bowl. Morris however showed his class by smashing the veteran for a six and back to back boundaries during the final two balls to see his side home.

Set a target of 160, the Giants started their chase well as Roy and Matthew Breetzke put on an opening stand of 68 which was ended when the former was run-out in the 10th over.

The opening stand left the table topping Giants well on course to chase down the target but some good bowling selection from Heat captain Dane Vilas saw the visitors claw their way back into the game.

The Giants were unable to build on the momentum of the opening stand and were not helped by a brilliant spell from Keshav Maharaj who conceded just 17 from his four overs which included the key wicket of Ben Dunk. One could have thought that the Heat would have been on course for a win after Siboto took the wickets of Marco Marais and Jon-Jon Smuts during the 17th over but it was not to be.

Batting first, the Heat’s top order again did not start strongly and the KZN side were left at 27-3 after Dane Vilas was dismissed by Jon-Jon Smuts during the fifth over. Heat opener Wesley Marshall looked strong and played some good shots before poor shot selection saw him being dismissed by Imran Tahir for 29.

David Miller and Englishman Ravi Bopara then showed some calmness and class to put on a stand of 100 which helped their side to post a competitive total of 160/5. Bopara top scored for the KZN side with 57 not out while Miller 45 recorded his highest MSL score to date.

The result sees the Giants maintaining their unbeaten record in this season’s MSL with a record of 4 runs from 5 games with the other being washed out. The Heat meanwhile remain rooted to fifth place on the log and above only the struggling Jozi Stars. 

@eshlinv

IOL Sport