The Durban Heat take on the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Saturday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The Durban weather has dictated the outcome of two Mzansi Super League matches, leaving home team Durban Heat match-rusty in the process. After playing away in the past week, the Heat will return home hoping to actually get on the field and fight for points in the same way they did when they dealt with the Cape Town Blitz on Thursday.

The Heat take on second-placed Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at Kingsmead at 12.30pm on Saturday. They go into this game in fifth position on the standings and above only Jozi Stars who are virtually out of the race. The top five all do, however, very much have a chance to get into the play-offs stage of the competition and every game from now on will be vital to secure a berth in the semi-finals.

The KZN-based franchise kick-started their MSL campaign with the morale-boosting victory over Cape Town Blitz. After the Blitz set a challenging target of 182 runs for victory, the Heat showed plenty of determination to chase down the target successfully. Wihan Lubbe (49) and captain Dane Vilas (75) were the heroes for Gary Kirsten’s side as the two put on a classy 65-run stand for the third wicket.

The Heat and Giants last met two weeks ago at St Georges in Port Elizabeth in a thrilling encounter narrowly won by the Giants. The game went down to the final over with Giants requiring 16 to win. Chris Morris secured the victory through some classy hard hitting.

The Giants looked unstoppable during the early phases of the competition but fell to a 31-run defeat against the Paarl Rocks on Wednesday, their first loss in this season's MSL. The defeat saw Jon-Jon Smuts's side lose pole position in the standings to the Rocks, who are led by Proteas captain Faf du Plessis.

The Giants were uncharacteristically poor with the bat on the day. They were eventually bowled out for 135.

The Rocks pulled off one of the best collective bowling efforts seen in MSL to date, Bjorn Fortuin, Ferisco Adams, Isuru Udana, Hardus Viljoen and Tabraiz Shamsi finishing with two wickets each.

On paper, the Giants will be hard to beatbut The Heat will be capable of pulling off a win if Andile Phehlukwayo, Kyle Abbott, Malusi Siboto and Keshav Maharaj also put in a strong collective bowling effort.

@EshlinV 

Independent on Saturday