Heat praying rain stays away from Durban

Gary Kirsten (Gallo)
Gary Kirsten (Gallo)

Cape Town - Durban Heat coach Gary Kirsten admits that their Mzansi Super League (MSL) fate is out of their hands despite the numbers suggesting otherwise heading into their final regular-season encounter against Jozi Stars on Tuesday.

Rain is forecasted for the round 10 fixture at Kingsmead Stadium, something that the hosts can ill afford if they want to qualify for the play-offs.

A glance at the table shows that the Durbanites have every chance of joining the Paarl Rocks and Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in the top three.

They are presently on 20 points in fourth position, three behind the Tshwane Spartans who have concluded their games.

The maths is simple for Kirsten - beat the woeful defending champions and they will be through. But that is not so for the coach.

"It's not looking good, but hopefully the weather will change," he said ahead of the game. "The wind blows really strong in these parts, so hopefully we can still get a game. We've still got a chance and we know what needs to be done on Tuesday."

"Should the game be abandoned, it will make for an incredible fifth wash-out for the Heat. In fact, they were out of the equation at the halfway stage, before turning the tables.

"It's frustrating to have rained out games. I think we've played really well this competition, in fact the five games we've played so far, I felt we played all five really well. Even though we lost two, even in those two we were still right in the game," continued Kirsten.

"We have been playing really good cricket. In the end it is what it is, you can’t fight it and we’ll do the best we can to try and make the play-offs."

For the Stars, the 2019 picture has been an even bleaker one. Champions 12 months ago in the inaugural season, they have heavily under-performed this year and remain without a win after nine games.

Their solitary points have been from two washed out games in the last two, with seven straight losses preceding that.

Their captain, Temba Bavuma, wooden spoonist with the Heat last year, concedes it has been a forgettable term, but hopes they can end strongly.

"For Jozi Stars as a team it hasn't been an ideal campaign," he added. "I think with the last three games we would have liked to have finished off as well as we could, but two have been rained out so far.

"We had our sights set on winning those three games, but we can't control what happens with the weather.

"Hopefully we can get a game in the last one, finish off well and get the result we all want for ourselves and the fans that have been supporting us through this tough period."


Jozi Stars

Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks, Daniel Christian, Temba Bavuma (capt), Duanne Olivier, Shoaib Malik, Simon Harmer, Ryan Rickelton, Aaron Phangiso, Lizaad Williams, Sinethemba Qeshile, Nono Pongolo, Jacques Snyman, Delano Potgieter, Dane Paterson

Durban Heat

Andile Phehlukwayo, Alex Hales, David Miller, Dane Vilas (capt), Ravi Bopara, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Abbott, Khaya Zondo, Marco Jansen, Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee, Malusi Siboto, Prenelan Subrayen, Wihan Lubbe, Shaun von Berg, Wesley Marshall

- Cricket South Africa

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