Durban Heat too hot for Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
DURBAN – David Miller produced a classy batting display and man of the match Keshav Maharaj produced a world-class bowling display to help the Durban Heat secure a six wicket victory against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at Kingsmead on Saturday.
Batting first, the Giants posted a healthy total of 173/6 from their 20 overs. The Port Elizabeth based franchise started strongly and reached 50 runs before the start of the sixth over as Ben Dunk and Jason Roy found the boundaries on a regular basis and with ease and put on an opening stand of 67 before Keshav Maharaj made a breakthrough and dismissed Ben Dunk.
Maharaj bowled a brilliant spell after being introduced into the attack, going for just 15 runs from four overs. South Africa’s Premier test bowler would also go on to dismiss Jason Roy for 36 and Heino Kuhn for a duck. Ironically all three of his wickets came after the batsman tried to smash him over the boundary rope.
Englishman Ravi Bopara went wicket-less but also helped to contain the early momentum of the Giants as his four overs went for just 21 runs. Were it not for good economy rates from Bopara and Maharaj, the Giants would have in all probability posted well above the 200 mark as all of the other Heat bowlers had economy rates in excess of ten runs an over.
After Maharaj’s three dismissals, Giants captain Jon Jon Smuts went on to top score with 54 of 37 balls to help his side post a very competitive total. He was well supported by Marco Marais who played a late cameo and struck 25 runs off just 11 balls.
In their chase, the Heat lost opener Wesley Marshall early for three to Beuran Hendricks. However, they did not lose early wickets as they did during previous games with Englishman Alex Hales finally getting runs on the board following a slow start to the competition and scoring 41 before being dismissed by Junior Dala in the 12th over.
Wihan Lubbe played an entertaining innings of 31 of just 11 balls which included striking Dala for 28 runs in the fourth over ( 4x4, 6x2). After the dismissal of Lubbe, captain Dane Vilas (25) and Ravi Bopara (18*) played valuable cameos to ensure that the home side got over the line comfortably with several balls to spare.
The Heat now move into fourth place on the MSL standings and will be strong contenders for a place in the playoffs of the competition. They are next in action against the Paarl Rocks at Boland Park next Wednesday.