Durban Heat skipper Albie Morkel scored a superb 45 from 25 balls to help set up a target of 157 for the Cape Town Blitz, but Pakistan’s Asif Ali single-handedly won the game for the Blitz despite a supreme bowling effort from Keshav Maharaj.
Keshav Maharaj bowled superbly to keep the lid on the Blitz, taking 3-24 (econ 6.00) to have the Blitz struggling on 78-4 before Ali played a truly match-winning innings on his MSL debut.
Despite the result the Durban Heat will be encouraged by how they recovered with the bat after a poor start. Captain Albie Morkel is looking at the positives going into their second clash of the tournament against the Tshwane Spartans on Wednesday.
‘We came back really nicely and I thought that we were actually ahead of the game when we went into the field,’ Morkel said.
‘We bowled really nicely in patches and (Asif) Ali was a bit of an unknown factor for us but he played well and took the game away from us in two overs.
‘You could argue that maybe there was a tactical error and we bowled the spinner for one over too many but in Prenelan’s first three overs he was in control but it was Ali’s day and he kept hitting them out the park.’
The Heat now look forward to a clash with the Tshwane Spartans on Wednesday at Kingsmead – who lost their opening match of the tournament against the Blitz on Friday. Morkel is expecting another tough encounter.
‘After their first loss they will come here with a lot of energy with AB de Villiers being their key. If we can look after him then I believe that we have the power to come out on top,’ Morkel added.
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images