Hot on the heels of a narrow loss in their MSL opener, the Durban Heat pulled off a magnificent run chase to defeat the Tshwane Spartans at Kingsmead. Now the Heat are looking for victory on the road to spark their surge for the MSL title.
The Heat travel down the coast to Port Elizabeth, where they take on third-placed Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, who are ahead of the Heat solely on net run rate, with both teams each having two wins and one loss in their brand new trophy cabinets.
Wednesday saw the Giants go down to the Cape Town Blitz at Newlands, and despite the loss Heat captain Albie Morkel believes that they have a dangerous side – especially with the return of their international players.
‘They’ve got a couple of Proteas back now, including Chris Morris, and Imran Tahir, who will definitely strengthen their side,’ said Morkel.
‘I still think at this early stage of the tournament it is difficult to pick a [favourite] side. They are all really good on paper and we might have seen a few upsets already.’
The competition is still in its infancy and the Heat still have to navigate their way through seven more games following Friday’s showdown. As they head into the demanding schedule of the next few weeks, the captain is keeping the focus narrow.
‘There isn’t a trend in the competition yet and I think it’s dangerous to think too far ahead in T20 cricket, so we’ll just take it game by game.
‘Hopefully, if our energies are right then we can go and get on a roll and win six or seven games, but we aren’t looking past Friday’s game against the Giants.’
Heat seamer and Wednesday’s Player of the Match Kyle Abbott spent a season with the Warriors in Port Elizabeth, so he is familiar with the local conditions and he believes there shouldn’t be any surprises for the team when they arrive in the Friendly City.
‘To be honest, I don’t think St George’s has changed much through the years. We will probably expect something a little low and slow,’ said Abbott.
‘It generally is a bit slow and there is a big boundary, but it’s all going to come down to the team that adapts to the conditions quickest,’ he added.
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images