Rashid too late to pull off South African T20 res­cue act

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

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

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