Asif Ali blitz wins it for Cape Town in clash over Durban Heat in MSL
Seasoned internationals Dale Steyn and Wahab Riaz led a strong bowling display as the Cape Town Blitz returned to the top of the Mzansi Super League (MSL) table after outsmarting the Durban Heat by 10 runs at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium on Sunday.
Durban Heat 164 – 7 (Wihan Lubbe 83; Gregory Mahlokwana 2-26, Dale Steyn 2-23)
Cape Town Blitz 174 – 6 (Marques Ackerman 43, Asif Ali 43; Andile Phehlukwayo 2-34)
Result - Cape Town Blitz won by 10 runs
In what was the first match out of three where the players actually took to the field in the coastal city, the visitors were put into bat and amassed 174 for six thanks in the main to 43s by Marques Ackerman and Asif Ali.
The hosts, whose first two games at the same venue were abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy seasonal rain in KwaZulu-Natal, looked on course for victory thanks to a highest-ever score by one of their batsmen - Wihan Lubbe who blasted 83 off 42 balls (7 fours, 5 sixes).
However, needing 49 off 33 balls, the wheels came off and they stuttered to close on 164 for seven.
Steyn finished with two for 23, Wahab one for 24 and there was also good support from ambidextrous spinner Gregory Mahlokwana (2/26).
It completed another good win for the Blitz, who are now up to 13 points on the table, two more than the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, having played a game more. The Heat stayed where they were in second bottom with the four points they acquired from their rain-outs.
However, they will be disappointed after not getting the job done in a match that was effectively their first of the season.
They won the toss and opted to bowl first, striking early through South Africa marquee player Andile Phehlukwayo (2/34) when he dismissed both Quinton de Kock (17) and Janneman Malan (13) inside the first five overs.
Liam Livingstone (25) and Ackerman then got going nicely by putting on 57 for the third wicket as the Blitz got into their stride at 92 for two just after halfway.
But they were then pulled back in the second half of their innings to eventually set 175 – Malusi Siboto (1/25) looking especially impressive in the closing stages.
The Heat then lost their international marquee man, Alex Hales, for a second-ball duck, but Lubbe picked up nicely with his innings that took the game to the Cape side.
They were flowing well when he was in the middle, crossing 50 relatively comfortably and moving past 100, although Mahlokwana did chip away with his double in the same period.
But, with the finish line looming and the Heat nicely set on 126 for three in the 15th over, Steyn got rid of the set man, whose score surpassed the 67 of Khaya Zondo scored last year as the Heat’s previous best, in an over that went for eight.
Sisanda Magala (1/30) conceded the same number of runs in his next over, before Wahab cleaned up David Miller for 23.
That all but settled the game with 34 from the final three proving too many for the Heat to get as they remained winless.
Durban Heat - Alex Hales, Sarel Erwee, Wihan Lubbe, Dane Vilas(c)(wk), David Miller, Ravi Bopara, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Prenelan Subrayen, Kyle Abbott, Malusi Siboto
Cape Town Blitz - Quinton de Kock(c)(wk), Janneman Malan, Marques Ackerman, Liam Livingstone, Asif Ali, George Linde, Wahab Riaz, Sisanda Magala, Gregory Mahlokwana, Dale Steyn, Anrich Nortje
Start Time: 08:00
Toss: Durban Heat won the toss and decided to field
Venue: Kingsmead, Durban
Officials: Phillip Vosloo, Lubabalo Gcuma, Bongani Jele, Dennis Smith, Gerhardus Pienaar
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