England international Alex Hales' (pictured) 97 not out off 55 balls bettered Cameron Delport blitzkrieg 84 from 59 balls to keep the Durban Heat's chances of progressing to the Mzansi Super League playoffs alive. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

England international Alex Hales' 97 not out off 55 balls bettered Cameron Delport blitzkrieg 84 from 59 balls to keep the Durban Heat's chances of progressing to the Mzansi Super League playoffs alive.

Hales was in superb form, striking the ball cleanly from the outset and on the basis of this form the opening batsman should really be considered for England's tour here regardless of his previous indiscretions.

Hales was particularly good down the ground, where he cleared the long-off boundary on numerous occassions.

The pivotal partnership for the Heat was for the third wicket with David Miller. The pair put on 62 runs with Miller striking 40 runs off just 22 balls.

This dismissal of Miller - caught behind to Tabraiz Shamsi - and Heat captain Dane Vilas shortly afterwards brought the Rocks straight back into the contest though.

However, Hales was still there and riding his luck with Sibonelo Makhanya enduring a horrid night in the field for the Rocks.

Cricket is a truly cruel game with Makhanya coming off a Man of the Match award in the last game to drop two straightforward catches on the night that allowed the Heat to continue their momentum.

Hales certainly took advantage of his life lines and finished the game in style with a four and six off Hardus Viljoen.

The latter also endured one of his rare off nights, finishing with figures of 0/56 from his 3.5 overs.

Earlier, Delport had shared in two explosive stands with Henry Davids (14) and Faf du Plessis (66 not out) to set up the Rocks' 195/2.

The opening stand of 52 came up in just 5.4 overs before Du Plessis and Delport put on 67 for the third wicket.

However, the Rocks did manage to provide the innings with the late impetus it required with James Vince only managing a run-a-ball 25, which ultimately left the home team 20 runs short. 

@ZaahierAdams 


IOL Sport

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