Cricket

Durban Heat denied playoffs shot as MSL group stage finishes with latest washout

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Durban Heat v Jozi Stars – Match abandoned

Rain denied Durban Heat the chance to challenge for a place in the Mzansi Super League playoffs. The Heat finish fourth on the points table, one behind the Tshwane Spartans, who will play the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on Friday to determine who goes through to meet the Paarl Rocks in Monday’s final.

The final pool match of the tournament was abandoned without a ball being bowled to bring the total number of washouts to eight, with the Heat affected in five of those. They had three of their first four games rained off and lost the fourth which meant their first victory came three weeks into the tournament, chasing 182 under lights at Newlands. That started a streak of three wins before they were washed out again last Saturday in Johannesburg, against bottom-of-the-log Jozi Stars. The return fixture in Durban, a must-win match for the Heat, was also unable to go ahead.

That means the Stars, the defending MSL champions, collected another two points but ended their campaign winless with seven defeats. The Stars had a new-look leadership department, with Temba Bavuma taking over from Dane Vilas, who captained the Heat this year, and Donovan Miller succeeding interim national team director Enoch Nkwe.

Bavuma’s leadership was thought to be on audition for a role with the national side in future and he will be disappointed with the team’s results, although his own form was more pleasing. Bavuma was eighth on the run-scorers’ list with 232 runs at 38.66. Reeza Hendricks, who is likely to feature in white-ball matches for South Africa this summer, was third with 275 runs at 39.28 including three half-centuries. The Stars bowling did not perform as well as expected, with Kagiso Rabada sitting joint-tenth with eight wickets at 27.25 and an economy rate of 8.33.

Like the Spartans, Heat completed just five games out of their ten, which affected where the players found themselves on the run and wicket charts. David Miller was 13th, Wihan Lubbe 15th and Alex 16th on the batting list while Malusi Siboto was the Heat’s leading wicket-taker and 15th overall.

Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1209687.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

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