Quinton de Kock of the Cape Town Blitz celebrates with teammates the wicket of Andile Phehlukwayo of Durban Heat during their Mzansi Super League match at Kingsmead in Durban on Sunday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN - A heroic innings of 83 from 42 balls from 26-year-old Wihan Lubbe was unable to save the Durban Heat from a 10 run defeat against the Cape Town Blitz in the Mzansi Super League on Sunday.

The game was Gary Kirsten’s side’s first full game of the 2019 MSL campaign after their opening two fixtures against the Tshwane Spartans and Paarl Rocks were both washed out without a ball being bowled due to torrential rain around Durban.

Batting first, the Blitz posted an impressive 174/6 which is the record total scored by a franchise at Kingsmead in the Mzansi Super League. The Heat started off well after Andile Phehlukwayo managed to remove the dangerous duo of Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan for 17 and 13 respectively.

Marques Ackerman and Englishman Liam Livingston steadied the ship for the visitors with a third wicket stand of 57. Ackerman who plies his trade for the Dolphins showed off his familiarity with Kingsmead conditions during a fluent knock of 43 from 34 balls.

Asif Ali also produced some clean-hitting for the Blitz during a 26 ball 43 which featured four sixes and two fours. Phehlukwayo was uncharacteristically poor with the ball during the 17th over as he gave away 20 runs and also bowled three wides whilst conceding one six and two boundaries to George Linde and Ali.

After man of the match Dale Steyn removed Heat opener Alex Hales for a duck during the first over, Sarel Erwee and Lubbe put on a 51 run second wicket stand before the former was dismissed by Gregory Mahlokwana in the eighth over.  Lubbe in particular appeared to take a liking to the bowling of fast bowler Anrich Nortje whom he struck for boundaries at regular intervals. 

Miller and Lubbe were the only two Heat batsman who managed to score more than 20 runs on the day and the lack of consistency with the bat was perhaps ultimately what ended up costing the Heat victory on the day. The pendulum effectively swung in favour of the Blitz after Steyn dismissed Lubbe in the 15th over. The veteran posed problems for the Heat batsman throughout the game and was deservedly the Player of the match after finishing with excellent figures of 2/23. 

Despite the defeat, the Heat were very much in the game until the last over. Captain Vilas is remaining calm.

“I was happy that we competed really well. The bowling performance was good in stages and the way that Wihan (Lubbe) batted in the first game was perfect. It was a tough game to lose by ten runs but we can take a lot of positives away from it” said Vilas who captained the Jozi Stars to glory during the inaugural edition of the Mzansi Super League last year.

The Heat are next in action on Thursday as they are due to play against the Tshwane Spartans in Centurion in what will mark their first away clash of the MSL.

@eshlinv

IOL Sport