DURBAN – Kyle Abbott bowled the Durban Heat to their opening Mzansi Super League victory after the rain intervened at Kingsmead on Wednesday afternoon.
Abbott claimed 4/27 to restrict the Tshwane Spartans 139/9, with the visitors only batting 19 overs due to weather disruptions.
The Heat’s batsmen managed to get up to 129/6 after 16.3 overs before the heavens opened once more, forcing the players off for the final time.
That was enough to take the points with the Heat ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par-score of 120, thereby handing the home team victory by 10 runs.
It certainly was a day for the bowlers, with only Tshwane Spartans opening batsman Gihahn Cloete striking the ball with any form of fluency.
Cloete soared to the top of the Mzansi Super League run-scoring charts with 55 off 43 balls (7x4).
Unfortunately for the Spartans, Cloete did not have a partner to sustain the momentum. Only Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikander Raza managed 20 off 20 balls before Abbott cleaned up the Tshwane middle-order.
Even AB de Villiers failed for the first time in this tournament, with the former Proteas captain being trapped lbw for 10 by Keshav Maharaj while attempting a reverse sweep.
The Heat run-chase never quite raced out of the blocks, with solid contributions from Hashim Amla (24), Morné van Wyk (22), Heinrich Klaasen (21) keeping the home team up with the required run-rate.
A rapid 50-run partnership between Khaya Zondo (25 off 11 balls) and Albie Morkel (26 off 12 balls) for the fifth-wicket then raised the tempo of the innings.
Lutho Sipamla tried valiantly for the Spartans with 3/22, but it was not enough to deny the Heat their first victory of the competition.
Cricket South Africa