The Mzansi Super League is at Kingsmead again on Friday, when hopefully the weather and larger crowd numbers will play the game. The Heat only have pride and other cliches to play for, after earlier this week being ruled out of contention for a berth in the final. The Stars, though, remain on a confident quest to finish at the top of the log.
Plenty of pundits backed the Heat as the best team on paper going into the tournament. Cricket, of course, is played on grass – and for all their promise, the Durban outfit have been pretty poor.
Lined with Proteas experience, but marred by a severe lack of delivery, perhaps they’ll start to click now that the pressure is off. They can still lift themselves from the foot of the six-team standings, especially if results don’t go the way of the Tshwane Spartans, too.
Peaking at the right time, when it matters most at the business end of the competition, the Stars have shrugged off a shaky start to their campaign. They have Chris Gayle back in the ranks as well, but he is still playing second fiddle to the dominant Reeza Hendricks.
He has two centuries and a half-ton in a row – and is starting to field questions about World Cup selection. He can’t be thinking about that yet, though, and needs to concentrate on the job at hand. The Stars can still secure a home final, especially if the Cape Town Blitz continue to falter as of late.
Fast bowler Tladi Bokako hasn’t had a great tournament, but there is obviously something about this talented right-armer. He has been included in the Proteas Test squad as a non-playing member – and could justify this faith, in part, with a standout performance against the Stars.
Late last month brought a big victory for the Stars over the Heat, and although the latter will be at home this time, a turnaround in result isn’t likely.
Where to next
The Stars will head home to take on the Paarl Rocks. The Heat will go to Cape Town to clash with the Blitz. Both matches will be on Sunday.