Veteran quick bowler sizzles in Man of the Match performance against disappointed Durban Heat
A heroic innings of 83 off 42 balls from 26-year-old Wihan Lubbe was not enough to save the Durban Heat from a 10-run defeat against the Cape Town Blitz at Kingsmead in Durban yesterday.
The game was Gary Kirsten’s side’s first game of the 2019 MSL campaign after their opening two fixtures against the Tshwane Spartans and Paarl Rocks were both washed out without a ball being bowled due to torrential rain around Durban.
Batting first, the Blitz posted an impressive 174/6 which is a record total scored by a franchise at Kingsmead in the Mzansi Super League.
The Heat’s bowling attack started off well with Andile Phehlukwayo managing to remove the dangerous duo of Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan for 17 and 13 respectively.
Marques Ackerman and Englishman Liam Livingston then steadied the ship for the visitors with a third wicket stand of 57.
Ackerman, who plies his trade for the Dolphins, showed off his familiarity with Kingsmead conditions during a fluent knock of 43 from 34 balls.
Asif Ali also produced some clean-hitting for the Blitz during a 26-ball 43 which featured four sixes and two fours.
Phehlukwayo then went off the boil and was uncharacteristically poor with the ball during the 17th over as he gave away 20 runs and also bowled three wides while conceding one six and two boundaries to George Linde and Ali.
The Heat’s reply, that initially promised big things, never really got going.
After Man of the Match Dale Steyn removed Heat opener Alex Hales for a duck during the first over, Sarel Erwee and Lubbe put on a 51-run second wicket stand before the former was dismissed by Gregory Mahlokwana in the eighth over.
Lubbe, in particular, appeared to take a liking to the bowling of Protea fast bowler Anrich Nortjé whom he struck for boundaries at regular intervals.
David Miller and Lubbe were the only two Heat batsman who managed to score more than 20 runs on the day and the lack of consistency with the bat was perhaps ultimately what ended up costing the Heat victory on the day.
The pendulum effectively swung in favour of the Blitz after Steyn dismissed Lubbe in the 15th over.
The veteran posed problems for the Heat batsman throughout the game and was deservedly the player of the match after finishing with excellent figures of 2/23.
The Heat were very much in the game until the last over and captain Dane Vilas is remaining calm despite the disappointing loss.
“I was happy that we competed really well.
“The bowling performance was good in stages and the way that Wihan (Lubbe) batted in the first game was perfect.
“It was a tough game to lose by 10 runs but we can take a lot of positives away from it” said Vilas, who captained the Jozi Stars to glory during the inaugural edition of the Mzansi Super League last year.
The Heat are next in action on Thursday against the Tshwane Spartans in Centurion, their first away clash of the MSL.