Cape Town – Two consecutive sixes in the final over from Jozi Stars’ Nono Pongolo scraped his side to a one wicket win over the Durban Heat in the Mzansi Super League at Kingsmead Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Under blue sky the Heat batted first in Durban, however veteran Morné van Wyk lasted three deliveries before he was caught at mid-wicket by Chris Gayle off the bowling of Duanne Olivier for one.
Unfortunately for the Heat, Temba Bavuma and Khaya Zondo both came and went quickly for one each.
Zondo fell with the total on 36 which saw David Miller join opener SJ Erwee just after the side went past 50 in 31 deliveries.
Erwee showed the form he had for the Dolphins in the domestic T20 tournament last season and went to his fifty off just 27 deliveries with eight fours and one six.
Erwee and Miller put together a measured partnership of 32 before the former was the next wicket to fall.
Erwee ended with 62 off 39 balls and the Heat were 86 for four when captain Albie Morkel replaced the left-handed Erwee at the wicket in the 11th over.
Morkel was caught by Nono Pongolo for three and a patient Miller was caught by the same man off Simon Harmer for a run-a-ball 29.
The Heat headed into the final four overs of the innings on 111 for the loss of six wickets.
Keshav Maharaj was the next batsman to perish, bowled by Dan Christian for 11 off 12 balls.
International marquee players Rashid Khan was dismissed five runs later for three with the score on 123 in the 18th over. He was followed by Kyle Abbott who was caught for seven while Tladi Bokako was bowled first ball for a duck.
The Heat were bowled out for 128 in the 19th over.
In reply it was the third over that produced the first wicket for the Heat when Tladi Bokako had danger man Chris Gayle well caught by David Miller at mid-off for five.
The form player of the competition Reeza Hendricks was the next wicket to fall in the fourth over when he chipped a Kyle Abbott delivery to Erwee at mid-wicket and the Stars were 18 for two.
Ryan Rickelton looked like he was threatening until he was trapped in front by Rashid Khan for 13. At the end of the power play the Stars were 31 for three.
Some good bowling from the Heat meant that the Stars needed to push the field and in the end it led to the demise of Rassie van der Dussen.
Turning for the second a mix-up from the Van der Dussen and Dane Vilas meant that the former was run out for 14.
After 10 overs the Stars were 54 for four wickets.
In the 11th over Erwee nearly pulled off a blinding catch, however in the commotion of the drop catch Keshav Maharaj got the ball to the keepers end and Dan Christian was run out for one.
Afghanistan spin wizard Khan then picked up his second wicket for the Heat when he bamboozled Dwayne Pretorius with a googly to bowl him for a duck.
At the end of the 12th over the Stars were 58 for six in comparison to the Heat’s 91 for four at the same stage.
It was a battle of attrition towards the end with some good bowling making sure that the Heat were in the game right up until the death.
Simon Harmer and his captain Vilas added 48 for the seventh wicket with the Stars moving to 106 before Khan accounted for Harmer for 25. The Stars needed 23 off 15 balls with Vilas and Pongolo at the wicket.
Following a six off the first ball of the 18th over, Kyle Abbott pulled it back and dismissed the set Dane Vilas for 43 from 36 deliveries and only conceded eight runs off the over.
The final over was full of drama as Marchant de Lange had 14 runs to defend and after the first two balls he had the wicket of Kagiso Rabada and one single to his account.
After four deliveries the Stars needed 12 off two balls and then Pongolo dispatched De Lange for six off a no ball. Off the resulting free hit Pongolo hit another six to win the game for the Stars.
The Heat head to Cape Town to take on the Cape Town Blitz in their penultimate Mzansi Super League clash at Newlands on Sunday.