Hot Stars ready to turn up the Heat
THE JOZI Stars arrive in Durban in red-hot form after three huge victories on the spin. This afternoon they take on the Durban Heat, who have been the disappointment of the Mzansi Super League.
Just one win in seven matches has seen the Durban side firmly rooted to the bottom of the table. They were denied another victory on Wednesday night by the rain, and they will again look nervously to the heavens around lunch-time.
It is their last home match and the home side are desperate to sign off with some cheer from a depressing month.
Not that the Joburg visitors will be handing out early Christmas presents. The men in gold are in hot form and have also welcomed Chris Gayle back for the business end.
The West Indies legend may be getting long in the tooth but he has made a habit of delivering at least one big performance in each of the tournaments he frequents around the world.
He would have eyed the Durban visit as a strong chance to get into some form before they turn the corner into the home straight.
Gayle is far from the Stars’ only dangerman. Reeza Hendricks is the most in-form batsman in the country, with two unbeaten centuries and a 79 in his last three knocks. He has been relentless but not reckless.
There are plenty of lessons there for the Heat to absorb, but they then have the unenviable task of taking on Kagiso Rabada’s thunderbolts.
The Proteas spearhead left the Heat cold and in tatters the last time they met all of a week ago.
The Durbanites lost three wickets in Rabada’s opening over and never recovered. He too is in serious form, which will make the Heat’s task even more difficult.
All these factors, along with what should be another fast, hard pitch, should provide plenty of entertainment for those Durban fans who come out with an open mind.
They won’t come with too much hope of a win because the past few games have tempered that faith. They will come for one last lingering look at a competition that has passed their team by.
They will come to see some attacking play and hopefully a response of some sort from the Heat.
But even that may not be enough. The Stars are a solid unit, whose mission has not been clouded by bad weather or poor form.
They will be a juggernaut to stop, but the Heat have to try.
When it rains, it surely pours, they say.
Play at Kingsmead starts at 2pm, with coverage on SABC 3 from 1.45pm.
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