Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
21 Nov 2018
5:56 pm

Abbott reminds of his class as Heat claim first MSL win

Heinz Schenk

The Proteas quick, who went the Kolpak route last year, returns to his old hunting ground and makes an immediate impact as AB's Spartans stumble again.

Kyle Abbott gets the wicket of Sikhander Raza during the Mzansi Super League match between Durban Heat and Tshwane Spartans at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on November 21, 2018 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

Bowlers held sway on an overcast and rainy day at Kingsmead as the Durban Heat recorded a four-wicket victory over the Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League (MSL).

Kyle Abbott made an outstanding return to his former stomping ground, grabbing 4/27 as the visitors were restricted to a lowly 139/9.

Only opener Gihahn Cloete, who made a fine 55 off 43, managed to keep a varied attack at bay.

The Heat themselves didn’t exactly make hay with the bat, but there were enough useful contributions all round to ensure when the rain had the finally say, they were 10 runs ahead on the DLS method.

Batsman of the game

Cloete has really come on in leaps and bounds since a productive domestic season in 2017/18. The left-hander was measured and confident, hitting seven fours and keeping things together.

He’ll be annoyed that he received such poor support and he’s a really good player to build a T20 innings around.

Bowler of the game

Abbott’s varied lengths and pace on the ball was crucial to his haul, but he was aided by some superb catching and the stranglehold the rest of the attack had on the Spartans batting.

Turning point

The Heat looked like their were floundering at 83/4 when Khaya Zondo and skipper Albie Morkel joined each other at the crease.

Like they did against the Blitz, the two combined well and matched each other’s scoring rates.

Zondo made 25 off 11 and Morkel 26 off 12 as they, pretty much in the blink of an eye, swung the game the hosts’ way.

Themes

  • AB de Villiers seems to be placing a lot of pressure on himself and perhaps is trying to try too many innovations at once. Instead of consolidating, he missed a switch hit sweep and was struck right in front. It was a critical blow to the Spartans, but also one that feels could’ve been avoided.
  • Pace certainly has its place in T20 and it was shown again. 20-year-old Lutho Sipamla seems to be learning rapidly as he bagged 3/22 for the Spartans, while the wily Marchant de Lange was only brought on as the last of the seven bowlers and bullied the visiting side’s middle-order with some aggressive, shorter bowling.

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