Kyle Abbott celebrates one of his four wickets for the Durban Heat against the Tshwane Spartans at Kingsmead. Photo: BackpagePix

DURBAN – Kyle Abbott scooped the Man of the Match award in the Durban Heat’s victory over the Tshwane Spartans yesterday, but he was quick to shift the credit.

“I thought that Marchant (de Lange) was outstanding, and he probably deserved a few more wickets,” Abbott pointed out.

The former Proteas bowler claimed 4/27 in his spell, and he was on a hat trick at one stage.

“I actually felt a bit better when I bowled on Sunday, believe it or not,” he smiled.

His bowling effort coincided with a significant shift on the field by the home side, as they fought hard for their first win of the Mzansi Super League.

Such is their depth, the Heat were able to rest Temba Bavuma and Sarel Erwee at the top of the batting card, and still get stronger.

The arrival of David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen shored up what is already a powerful middle-order.

When the Durban side were, for lack of a better phrase, feeling the Heat, that engine room provided the calm.

Skipper Albie Morkel and Khaya Zondo chipped in with telling 20s, which did enough to take the Heat away from the Spartans’ total.

“We never panicked. I always knew that we could go for the boundary if it came to it, and it was nice for me and Khaya to do that at the end,” Morkel explained.

Even as the rate climbed towards two-a-ball, Morkel waited for the release option. Sikandar Raza disappeared for 19 runs. The over before that, from Rory Kleinveldt, went for 13 as the Heat shifted through the gears.

“We were behind the rate, with the rain, but I knew I had to make them pay,” Morkel said with relish.

For the Durban franchise, the win allows them to settle and start looking at climbing the table.

“There hasn’t been a pattern established yet in the competition, so everyone is still close together. It’s important to win, because it just gives us momentum,” Morkel noted.

Next is the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, and Morkel was in a rush to see them in action in the late game against the Cape Town Blitz, who won by 12 runs at Newlands.

“They have obviously strengthened with guys like Chris Morris and Imran Tahir, and they are a very good side. We will take a look at them, and then look ahead to Friday,” Morkel added.

What stands out with the Durban Heat skipper is that there is never a sense of panic.

Abbott, talking of Morkel’s leadership towards De Lange as an example, confirmed it.

De Lange’s spell of 1/16 throttled the Spartans’ ambitions to kick on.

“I think Marchant is an impact player, and he is in the best possible environment here. You saw how well Albie handled him,” Abbott noted.

The Heat visit the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on Friday.


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