Domestic / 28 November 2019, 12:00pm / zaahier adams
Dane Vilas spent a large part of his career playing in the Cape. The wicket-keeper batsman was an integral part of the “glory years” the Cape Cobras enjoyed across all formats over the best part of the last decade.
Vilas certainly enjoyed working under the shadow of Table Mountain as he grew into a very popular member of the Cobras squad. However, all good things must come to an end at some point, with Vilas leaving Cape Town at the end of former coach Paul Adams’ term.
Since then Vilas has made a habit of being a thorn in the flesh of any team that plays out of Newlands, none more so than when he led the Jozi Stars to victory over the Cape Town Blitz in last season’s inaugural Mzansi Super League final at his former home ground.
But with the Jozi Stars opting for more youthful wicket-keeping options in Ryan Rickleton and Sinethemba Qeshile for MSL 2.0 and not retaining Vilas’ services, the 34-year-old was snapped up by the Durban Heat.
The change of uniform has not stemmed Vilas’ desire to put one over the Blitz again in tonight’s MSL clash at Newlands, and in fact only heightened the desire after the Blitz defeated the Heat at Kingsmead last week.
“It was a disappointing game that first one. We made a few mistakes. We (are) really excited to get one back at them. We owe them one. Hopefully this will be the catalyst for the last round of games,” Vilas said yesterday.
The Heat certainly require all their skipper’s motivational skills as they are languishing in fifth place on the standings. They are winless after five matches, and only have six points due to three matches having been washed out.
It would be particularly frustrating for any team to not be able to get out on the park due to continued washouts that the Heat suffer in Durban, as they are unable to build any momentum.
Vilas is confident, though, that his team can put this all behind them as they are hungry to get in a full game in what is expected to be a good night under the Newlands lights.
“It has been really disappointing. One game then rain, and then rain again. It has been hard to build momentum. Hopefully we can do that against the Blitz. And then there’s a nice game on a Saturday afternoon in Durban,” Vilas said.
“The mood in the camp is really positive though. We have had a couple of days off and are looking forward to the next game. The squad is looking good. Everyone is really fit and firing. The guys are really keen to get going in the competition.”
SQUADS FOR NEWLANDS
Cape Town Blitz: Quinton de Kock (capt), Wahab Riaz, Liam Livingstone, Dale Steyn, Sisanda Magala, Anrich Nortje, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Janneman Malan, George Linde, David Bedingham, Vernon Philander, Marques Ackerman, Gregory Mahlokwana, Aviwe Mgijima, Khwezi Gumede.
Durban Heat: Andile Phehlukwayo, Alex Hales, David Miller, Dane Vilas (capt), Ravi Bopara, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Abbott, Khaya Zondo, Marco Jansen, Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee, Malusi Siboto, Prenelan Subrayen, Wihan Lubbe, Shaun von Berg, Wesley Marshall.