DURBAN – A thrilling 33-ball 80 by Asif Ali helped the Cape Town Blitz make it two wins from two as they stunned the Durban Heat with a three-wicket victory in the Mzansi Super League T20 at Kingsmead, in Durban, on Sunday.
The Pakistan batsman destroyed the hopes of the hosts by blasting five sixes and seven fours to help reach the 158-run victory target with five balls to spare.
It was a superb effort in a disjointed chase, which had seen the visitors reduced to 83/5 at one stage, before the unknown Ali went crazy by smashing the ball all over the place to take his side to the top of the competition table.
Earlier, it was Anrich Nortje who stole the show with an outstanding four-for that restricted the home side to 157/5 after his captain, Dawid Malan, had won the toss and opted to bowl first. The fast bowler claimed all his wickets in just seven deliveries and ended with 4/32.
The Heat had progressed well to 41/0 in the sixth over, before Nortje began his work. He bowled Morne van Wyk (26), Sarel Erwee (0) and Temba Bavuma (0) in the same over, before returning to trap Hashim Amla (15) leg before wicket.
But Khaya Zondo (49 not out off 42 balls) and Albie Morkel (45 off 25 balls) then staged a recovery with a 71-run fifth-wicket partnership that helped them reach a competitive total under overcast skies on the east coast.
The Blitz reached 50/1 thanks to Janneman Malan’s 31 in what was looking an easy chase, before Keshav Maharaj struck three blows to leave them in a muddle on 78/4. The SA spinner finished with 3/24 in his four overs, and, after his triple, Vernon Philander (1/25) got rid of Sibonelo Makhanya (two) to leave the Heat in further strife on 83/5 in the 14th over.
It looked like victory for the hosts was the only likely result at that stage, but Ali changed the course of the game with his sensational hitting.
He added 60 off 24 balls with Ferisco Adams (six), who made only one of those runs, to take the Blitz to the brink.
Malusi Siboto (six) carried his side over the line.
African News Agency (ANA)