Heat captain Vilas has a plan to topple the high-flying Rocks

2019-12-11 06:01
Durban Heat’s Maritzburg-born batsman David Miller will be hoping to continue his good form in the Mzansi Super League, where his average is 72, when the Heat play Paarl Rocks in Paarl today. PHOTO: BackpagePix

Durban Heat’s Maritzburg-born batsman David Miller will be hoping to continue his good form in the Mzansi Super League, where his average is 72, when the Heat play Paarl Rocks in Paarl today. PHOTO: BackpagePix

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DURBAN Heat captain Dane Vilas says being able to the deal with the pressure of Paarl Rocks’ “12th man” will be pivotal in their mission to topple the high-flying side in the Mzansi Super League (MSL 2.0) today.

The two sides meet in a crucial MSL match at Boland Park in Paarl where play is scheduled for 5.30 pm. The Heat need to win the clash at all costs to remain in the race for the MSL play-offs while the hosts are looking to finish at the top of the table to secure a home final.

Vilas’ men are on 14 points from seven outings, while Rocks are on 23 from eight matches.

While almost all the other franchises in the tournament have struggled to attract decent crowds to their home venues, Rocks have done that without fail. The Adrian Birrell-coached side have made it a habit of drawing fans, as they recorded a 5 500 attendance for a clash against Tshwane Spartans this season.

Vilas believes having big crowds at Boland Park has contributed to Rocks’ solid run, which saw them losing just once in their backyard. “It’s obvious a good place to go play in, they have a good crowd and we had a good crowd in our last game [against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on Saturday], and we saw what advantage that played. But we are excited, we just want to play,” said Vilas.

“Hopefully, there will be nice weather again. It’s should be hot there. It’s a great place to go and play cricket there, it’s a great pitch, big field but I think it will suit our game with our attack that we got at the moment and the power of our batting as well.”

Against the Giants, the Heat had 3 600 fans at Kingsmead who pushed them to get their second victory on the trot. Vilas is happy that they are going to face the side that lost only twice in the competition after having been able to build some momentum. “Gaining some momentum is what we spoke about earlier, we wanted to get playing and play some good cricket. That’s what we are doing right now which is awesome,” he said. “We are excited for the next three games and hopefully, we get to play more [in the playoffs].”

Meanwhile, in yesterday’s match, Ben Dunk remained unbeaten on 99 as the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants came back from the death to beat the Tshwane Spartans by six wickets at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.

Set a venue record 189 to win, the Giants looked dead and buried at 28 for three in the fifth over but some determined batting from the home team led by Dunk, Ryan Ten Doeschate (33) and Marco Marais (38*) saw the Giants home with only two balls to spare.

It was a victory to savour for the Giants who join the Paarl Rocks at the top of the table with 23 points from their eight games. It also enhances the team’s chances of making the playoffs and they are still in the hunt for a home final. Dunk, who struck 10 fours and four sixes in his 54-ball innings, took advantage of three dropped catches as he put on 78 for the fourth wicket with Ten Doeschate and then an unbeaten 86 off only 42 balls for the fifth wicket to seal the win.

The Spartans will rue their performance in the field after a fine effort with the bat after winning the toss. AB de Villiers and Wiaan Mulder made half-centuries as the Tshwane Spartans posted a venue record 188 for five. De Villiers provided the fireworks and the late momentum in clubbing 63 off only 38 balls to help ensure his team broke the existing St George’s innings competition record of 187 for five made by the Giants earlier in the competition.



Paarl Rocks v Durban Heat — 5.30 pm


Spartans v Jozi Stars — 5.30 pm


Blitz v Giants — 5.30 pm


Jozi Stars v Durban Heat — 12.30 pm


Paarl Rocks v Giants — 10 am

Spartans v Blitz — 2 pm


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