Captain Albie Morkel had the consolation of victory as the Durban Heat ended an otherwise disappointing Mzansi Super League campaign with a win over the Tshwane Spartans at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
Morkel struck an unbeaten 57 from 28 balls, four fours and five sixes included, as the Heat reached a challenging 189-run target with one delivery to spare.
The result didn’t yield any movement in the tournament’s six-team standings. The Spartans remained in fifth position and the Heat sixth.
The second-placed Jozi Stars and third-placed Paarl Rocks, meanwhile, have qualified for Friday’s eliminator fixture. The table-topping Cape Town Blitz have advanced straight to Sunday’s final at Newlands. The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants also failed to qualify for the next round.
‘This was a much-need win for our team. De Villiers batted really well for them to almost put us out of the match. The pitch was quite slow and tough to bat on. I’m really glad the crowd came out for this dead rubber and I’d like to thank them’, said Morkel, who was named Player of the Match.
Spartans captain AB de Villiers’ characteristically entertaining 93 not out was in vain. Seamers Rory Kleinveldt, Andrew Birch and Eldred Hawken were ineffective through the closing throes, affording Morkel the chance to forge victory for the visitors.
‘I got lucky today. I am very proud to be part of this tournament – the quality of cricket in the MSL has been great. Some of the young guns were amazing, and the old ones too,’ added De Villiers.