• Preview: NMB Giants vs Durban Heat

    The Giants need to bounce back from defeat to the Cape Town Blitz earlier this week, while the Heat will be keen to continue the momentum started with Wednesday’s win over the Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League.

    Nelson Mandela Bay Giants

    A batting order that was hardly tested in victory over the Jozi Stars was rather exposed during the loss to the Blitz. Two failures on the trot for openers Marco Marais and Jon-Jon Smuts is concerning – and has left extra pressure on the middle order.

    The Giants would love to see the zeal and steel displayed by Heino Kuhn, who copped a bouncer to the helmet from Dale Steyn but recovered to score a fighting half-century, from the rest of their batsmen. Their bowling, too, was a bit one-dimensional against the Blitz, but a change of venue should prompt a tweak in tactics. Spinners Smuts and Aaron Phangiso could be introduced into the attack – and there’s always the ‘X’ factor of Imran Tahir.

    Durban Heat

    The Heat were meticulous and methodical in triumph over the Heat – and captain Albie Morkel’s leadership really shone through. This is, after all, a man with more than a decade of T20 experience – a lot of it in the Indian Premier League.

    Morkel is exactly the type of talisman required to lift a team from opening defeat and prove victorious over the dangerous Spartans. He needs to display this again in Port Elizabeth. The absence of Cameron Delport won’t be too much of a worry, as David Miller and Heinrich are primed to perform in combination, if Temba Bavuma is again left out of the XI.

    Battle within the war

    Kyle Abbott showed what the Proteas are missing with a telling four-wicket haul against the Spartans, but it’s Keshav Maharaj who will be just as dangerous in St George’s Park conditions conducive to his spin art. Expect a particularly intriguing tussle between Maharaj and England star Ben Duckett in the middle overs.


    Something has sparked within the Heat and, despite the Giants’ eagerness to capitalise at home, victory for the visitors is likely.

    Where to next

    The Giants will play the Spartans at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday, while the Giants will host the Blitz in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

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