Heat’s must-win Giant challenge


December 5, 2018 9:45 am

Durban Heat opener Sarel Erwee in action at Boland park on Sunday. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

DURBAN – It has become the most common term chucked around Kingsmead in the past month. It has grown ever louder with each passing week, and it may well be at its loudest tonight.

There is the smallest of flickering hopes for the Heat in the Mzansi Super League, but everything from this point onwards demands a victory.

More than that, it has to be a victory with a bonus point. That has to be the aim from here onwards, with just four rounds of fixtures remaining.

The Heat have just one victory thus far, and that is a trend they have to change very quickly. It can only be victories from this point, and they have to start their charge against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.

Brandon Mavuta of the Durban Heat sends down a delivery during the 2018 Mzansi Super League T20 cricket match against the Paarl Rocks at Boland Park on Sunday. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix
Brandon Mavuta of the Durban Heat sends down a delivery during the 2018 Mzansi Super League T20 cricket match against the Paarl Rocks at Boland Park on Sunday. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

The men from Port Elizabeth had their colours lowered by a brutal Jozi Stars side recently, and they must be smarting from that setback. There had been a point when the Giants looked like they could push the high-flying Cape Town Blitz all the way for top spot, but there have been some stumbling blocks.

That doesn’t mean they will not be aiming to bounce back against the Heat. After all, they barely broke a sweat in brushing aside the Durban outfit by nine wickets in the corresponding fixture.

On that night, everything the Giants touched turned to gold.

With a varied and experienced attack, including Chris Morris and Sisanda Magala’s pace, and the spin of Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso, the Giants constantly ask questions of any batting line-up.

They have seen first-hand the vulnerabilities of the Heat, and they will try and expose those again.

On the batting front, Marco Marais and skipper Jon-Jon Smuts were brutal when the sides last met, but the Giants have got even stronger since then.

Jason Roy has swaggered into the fray, and he will add an explosive edge to the Giants top-order.

The English star will have a familiar face in the opposition, as he is very close to Heat opener Sarel Erwee.

They played together on the UK club cricket scene, and developed such a friendship that Erwee was a guest at Roy’s wedding in France.

All that will be put aside for this clash, however. The Heat have to put on their ruthless face, and hope to goodness that they have finally turned the corner.

Failing that, their tournament hopes will be well and truly over. Must-win. It’s not a buzzword anymore.

It’s a stark reality.

Play at Kingsmead starts at 7pm, with coverage on SABC 3 from 6.45pm.


@whamzam17

The Mercury

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