More rain as Heat and Spartans share point
Tshwane Spartans 141/4
Durban Heat 21/3
The Heat just can’t seem to catch a break from Mother Nature. The Durban team have now played four matches in the 2019 Mzansi Super League and Mother Nature has won three of them.
As the competition heads to the halfway point, it’s getting critical for the Heat. If they can’t complete matches and get a couple of wins, they risk missing out on a spot in the top three and the play-offs.
While Thursday was also the third match involving the Spartans that has had to be abandoned because of the weather, at least they have that one win under their belts. It was the second match to be rained out here in the tournament and both matches between these two sides has fallen victim to the elements.
Thursday was shaping up to be a good one too. After the Heat captain Dane Vilas had chosen to field, Dean Elgar and Theunis de Bruyn again gave the Spartans a strong start. Last Sunday, the opening pair had provided the foundation for their team’s successful pursuit of a target of 187 against the Paarl with a stand of 104, and that effort was almost repeated here.
Their partnership of 81 came at a run rate of 10 an over, as Elgar continued to show that his white ball skills are on par with any other batsman in this tournament. There were some characteristic drives in the air, but one particular shot - a baseball-style swat through the covers was probably the highlight of another sparkling innings from the nuggety left-hander, who is making a strong case for recognition at international level in the limited overs formats.
He finished unbeaten on 57 off 37 balls having struck seven fours when the second rain interruption ended the Spartans innings after 15 overs.
De Bruyn’s 40, came off 25 balls and included some elegant drives. There was a useful innings of 23 by Spartans skipper Heinrich Klaasen which gave the home side some impetus after De Bruyn and AB de Villiers were dismissed in quick succession.
More rain saw the Heat’s innings reduced to just five overs with a revised target of 66. Their chase was made steeper when they lost Wayne Marshall and Wihan Lubbe to the first two balls of the innings bowled by Lungi Ngidi. No hat-trick was forthcoming for Ngidi though and the match would end in somewhat strange circumstances.
Morne Morkel clean bowled Dane Vilas, as the rain was falling again, but with David Miller halfway to the crease it suddenly stopped. By that point however the umpires had already called off the match, leaving players and spectators confused.
The outcome was more damaging to the Heat, who desperately need to get their campaign, blighted so far by rain, up and running.