After having trouble with the rain gods for a while, the Durban Heat finally got a win in the bag when they defeated the Cape Town Blitz in their previous match. On the other hand, the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants were subjected to the first defeat of their campaign when they fell short in their run chase against the Paarl Rocks. This loss meant that the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants lost their top spot on the league standings despite being having an equal number of points due to an inferior net run rate.
The previous fixture between the Heat and Bay Giants had seen them post a target of 161 runs powered by a half-century by English all-rounder Ravi Bopara. However, the Bay Giants' batting lineup was successful in chasing the score down with Jason Roy getting a quickfire fifty leading from the front.
Today's match saw the Durban Heat add their second win of the Mzansi Super League 2019 season as they chased down a sturdy target of 174 runs down powered by the half-century scored by David Miller. He was ably supported by Englishman Alex Hales (41) along with Wihan Lubbe (31) and the Heat skipper Dane Vilas (25).
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants kicked off their first innings on a strong note with both their openers - Ben Dunk and Jason Roy getting off to good starts. The Bay Giants' skipper JJ Smuts came in and scored an enterprising knock of 54 runs to set the stage for a good score on the board putting 173/6 for the Durban Heat to chase.
Also see – BPL Points Table
We take a look at the three players whose performance on the pitch proved to be crucial in shaping the results of the match.
#3 Keshav Maharaj - Durban Heat
The slow left-arm orthodox spinner Keshav Maharaj was at his very best keeping the Bay Giants contained with his disciplined bowling. Maharaj broke the deadlock for the Durban Heat taking the prized scalp of Ben Dunk at a time when the openers were in full swing and on the way for a mammoth score.
Maharaj chipped in again clattering the stumps after beating the defence of Jason Roy further pressing the brakes on the Bay Giants' scoring rate. His bowling efforts helped keep the Durban Heat down to a score below the 200 mark.
#2 JJ Smuts - Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants got off to a superb start with the openers Ben Dunk and Jason Roy scoring at a 10+ run rate during the powerplay and set the stage for a big score. However, Keshav Maharaj put a dent in their hopes getting the two batsmen out within a couple of overs and slowed the run flow.
Bay Giants' skipper JJ Smuts came to the crease and took the mantle of spearheading the innings to keep the momentum going ahead. Smuts batted patiently and kept hitting good fours across the park getting to a well-deserved fifty before succumbing to Andile Phelukwayo at 54 runs. He scored at a healthy strike rate of 145.94 and got the Bay Giants to a strong total of 173 runs.
#1 David Miller - Durban Heat
Durban Heat were put a target of 174 runs in front of them by the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and got off to a poor start as Wesley Marshall was out for a paltry three runs. However, Wihan Lubbe and Alex Hales stabilized the innings to set up the chase well for the Heat scoring at a brisk pace.
Hubbe departed with the score at 60-2 and David Miller walked into partner up with the Englishman Hales. Miller took the responsibility of shaping up the chase and started to build a good partnership with Hales.
Miller kept getting timely boundaries and was ably supported by the skipper Dane Vilas and Ravi Bopara making easy work of the target in the final overs. The middle-order batsman reached his 50 having played 39 balls, capping off a patient innings that saw them through all the way till the end.
The Durban Heat next square up against the Paarl Rocks on 4th December whereas the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants are in action one day earlier on 3rd December against the Tshwane Spartans.