The Stars and Heat go into this fixture in the wake of respective defeats to the Tshwane Spartans and Paarl Rocks. Both really need another Mzansi Super League win at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday.
The Stars might wonder how they lost to the Spartans earlier this week, after posting a hefty score. They’ll soon reconcile, though, that their bowlers were unable to support the batsmen appropriately – and that needs to change quickly. Yes, Tshwane were clinical and commanding in the chase, but there was a lot the Stars could have done better. Kagiso Rabada’s form is a bit of a worry for the country in general, but fans mustn’t lose sight that this is a brand new Twenty20 tournament, nowhere close to the international level where Rabada performs at his best.
Gratefully, the Heat won’t be without captain Albie Morkel. A small consolation in the defeat to the Rocks was that Morkel came through the match unscathed, testing his bruised arm throughout. The Heat have slipped from the top half of the table to the very bottom, but will know a single victory will get them right up there again – and a sneaky bonus would yield additional value. The Stars’ bowling attack has looked particularly fragile – and is ripe to target.
Battle within the war
Stars spinner Simon Harmer admitted that he was lucky to get away with a couple of full tosses against the Spartans. Hashim Amla, David Miller and Khaya Zondo won’t allow this – and them versus Harmer could be an especially intriguing battle.
Picking a winner from two beaten teams is a task, but the fifth-placed Stars will likely put one over the last-placed Heat at a venue that should bring another high-scorer.
Where to next
The Stars will head to Port Elizabeth to take on the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, while the Heat go to Paarl to meet the Rocks. Both games will be on Sunday.