For the Heat they will look forward to the arrival of David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen to bolster the middle-order.
Asif Ali provided the fireworks, but Anrich Nortjé (pictured) delivered the bombshells at brunch, as the Cape Town Blitz bullied their way past the Durban Heat by three wickets in the Mzansi Super League yesterday. That handed the Cape franchise two wins from two, even before all their Proteas arrive.
“That’s it from me. Job done,” stand-in captain Dawid Malan quipped. Malan leaves to head to the T10 tournament in Asia, but he did vacate the stage with a telling reflection on the first weekend of this tournament.
“You are sitting on a gold mine here,” he assessed. “You can see what this tournament has already done for some players,” he added of the likes of Nortjé, who has become a sensation to those who don’t observe domestic cricket closely. When the Warriors paceman rushed through the defences of Morné van Wyk, Sarel Erwee and Temba Bavuma in five balls, an entirely new audience sat up and made a point of scribbling down the name.
“It has been an incredible few weeks. I have got engaged, I had my birthday on Friday, and now I am sharing the new ball with one of my idols, Dale Steyn,” Nortjé gushed. “I am just taking it a day at a time, and I don’t worry about what happens in the future,” he said of the prospect of catching the eye of IPL scouts and, inevitably, the South African selectors.
Nortjé already had a reputation as a slippery customer in domestic cricket, but he admitted that he has the freedom to find another gear in white-ball cricket. Already, he has nudged the 150 km/* mark, and it looks effortless.
When Nortjé caught the Heat top order cold, and reduced them to 41/3, there were fears that the Durban Heat may be blown away well inside their allotted overs.
The Heat eventually recovered to 157/5, setting a target that their balanced attack might have fancied defending. But, they did not reckon on Ali coming in like a tsunami from sea, and obliterating a required rate that was getting out of hand – at least in the mind of most observers. “I was not worried about the rate,” Ali smiled after the match.
“I knew that the conditions in South Africa were in my favour, and that I needed to stay in to the end. I like the pace on the ball here,” he beamed, having taken 20 off Marchant de Lange’s final over. A measure of Ali’s late assault was that he added over 50 with Ferisco Adams, with the all-rounder chipping into the alliance with the princely sum of just one run.
For the Heat, who never quite got their simmer on, they will look forward to the arrival of David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen to bolster the middle-order.