Match abandoned Tshwane Spartans 141 for 4 (Elgar 57*, de Bruyn 40, Siboto 1-25) v Durban Heat 21 for 3 (Ngidi 2-2) in 2.1 overs
There were only 17.1 overs played between the Tshwane Spartans and Durban Heat as rain forced a fourth no-result in 12 matches in the Mzansi Super League so far. The impact of the weather-affected games has been most keenly felt on the points table where the two teams sit in opposite halves, despite both completing only one match each. The Spartans had won their match and are in the third position, while Heat had lost theirs and are in the fifth place. The Heat may have fancied their chances of claiming a second victory when they were asked to chase 66 in five overs at SuperSport Park but three quick wickets swung the game in the Spartans' favour before rain had the last say.
De Bruyn and Elgar at it again
After their 104-run stand in a stunning chase in Paarl, Theunis de Bruyn and Dean Elgar showed why they should be on the radar for the national white-ball teams with another impressive start. The pair took 21 off Kyle Abbott's first two overs to race to 62 without loss at the end of the powerplay before de Bruyn was run out for 40. There was an appeal for obstructing the field against Elgar when he was on 43 but third umpire decided Elgar had not changed his path and he went on to bring up his fifty off 33 balls and looked set for many more.
Keshav Maharaj turned the screws on the opening pair, which may have led to de Bruyn's dismissal when he took on Andile Phehlukwayo's arm, but that brought AB de Villiers to the crease. In front of his home crowd, de Villiers was expected to thrill but it was Phehlukwayo who produced the magic once again. He lured de Villiers into chasing a short, wide ball and Dane Vilas took an easy catch behind the stumps.
The first signs of trouble
After 65 minutes into the first innings, the players were called off the field due to rain. They stayed off for 40 minutes and returned for ten before lightning forced them off again. Another 35 minutes passed before play resumed.
Ngidi jolts Heat's chase
The Spartans' defence started in the best way possible when Lungi Ngidi took a simple return catch off his bowling to dismiss Wesley Marshall on the first ball and then had dangerous Wihan Lubbe caught at deep midwicket by de Villiers off the next ball. Alex Hales survived the hat-trick ball by tickling it to third man to get Heat off the mark. The umpires decided to keep continuing in the drizzle but after 2.1 overs, just when Vilas' off stump was removed by Morne Morkel, the rain got heavier and the match had to be called off.
Can rain leave these two teams alone?
The short answer seems to be no, and here's a breakdown of how it's all (not) played out. The first match between the Heat and Spartans, which was due to be played in Durban, was abandoned without a ball being bowled after heavy rain on the country's east coast. Six days later, Heat's second match against the Paarl Rocks, also at Kingsmead, was also unable to get underway. By then, the Spartans game against the Nelson Mandela Giants at SuperSport Park had yielded a no-result with just 7.1 overs bowled. The Spartans may have been rather pleased to get away with that one because they were 33 for 4 when the heavens opened.
Both teams got their campaigns underway on the same day, November 17, in the ninth and tenth matches of the tournament respectively. Heat finally got on the park in Durban and went down to Cape Town Blitz by ten runs while the Spartans had better luck in the Boland. They hunted down 186 against the Paarl Rocks. And then came this, an innings cut down to 15 overs and a chase reduced to five that couldn't be completed.