Rashid too late to pull off South African T20 rescue act
DURBAN, South Africa: Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan made an almost immediate impact Friday when he finally played for Durban Heat in the new South African Mzansi Super League.
But it was too late to help his team reach the play-offs of the first city-based Twenty20 league in the republic.
Khan and other international ‘marquee’ players Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Dwayne Bravo and Dawid Malan arrived for the last two weeks of a tournament which has had mixed reviews from the public and media.
Khan, the world’s top-ranked T20 international bowler, was only available for the last four matches for a franchise which several commentators regarded as tournament favourites after the player draft in October.
But a potentially strong Durban batting line-up failed to fire and Khan landed in South Africa with his team needing to win all their remaining matches to earn a top-three place and a tilt at the title.
However, his first match was rained off this week and the Heat were eliminated.
Khan took three for 19 in a mesmerising four-over spell against title-chasing Jozi Stars from Johannesburg at Kingsmead Friday.
It seemed likely to earn his team a win until tailender Nono Pongolo, with 12 runs needed off the last two balls, hit two full tosses from Marchant de Lange - one a no-ball - for six.
That the international stars only joined the tournament at a late stage is a consequence of hasty arrangements and a clash with a 10-overs competition in Abu Dhabi.
Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe says the league has been a success. - AFP