Durban Heat vs Jozi Stars, 30th T20 Match Prediction2019-12-11
SuperSport Park, Centurion, South AfricaKingsmead, Durban, South Africa
Durban Heat desperate for victory to ensure playoff spot!
Durban Heat to win the match!
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Durban Heat hasn't had the best fortunes in the Mzansi Super League 2019. 4 of their league matches have been abandoned due to rain. They have won 3 matches and lost only 1. And yet, they are still at the 4th position in the points table with 20 points and a solid Net Run Rate of +0.182. Had even 2 of those 4 abandoned matches gone their way, Durban would have easily made their place into the playoffs by now. But as things stand now, they must win their last league game against Jozi Stars to confirm their entry in the top 3.
Meanwhile, defending champions Jozi Stars has been the worst-performing team of the season and by some distance. 9 matches in and they are yet to win a single game. They would be thanking their stars that they have 4 points on the board courtesy two back-to-back abandoned games.
However, that doesn't change the fact that the Stars are bottom-placed and will finish the league in the same position irrespective of what they do in the last game. Temba Bavuma's side has lost 7 matches in a row and looks completely hapless. It would take a humongous effort for them to get past Durban in their own territory.
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Despite luck not favoring them, Durban Heat has been one of the in-form teams of this season. Before their last game was abandoned, they had won 3 games in a row. Dane Vilas has a good solid all-round team that isn't dependent on individual superstars but are performing as a unit. After a few failures, English opener Alex Hales came through in the team's last match against Paarl Rocks with a sublime 97 off 55 balls. That performance will hold the team in good stead.
The experienced David Miller to has been contributing (188 runs) in the middle-order apart from Wihan Lubbe (175 runs) who has a terrific strike-rate 184.21. Ravi Bopara provides stability down the order and if opener Wesley Marshall can find his form then Durban would be unstoppable.
Their bowling has largely been dependent on Andile Phehlukwayo, Malusi Siboto and spinner Keshav Maharaj. Wihan Lubbe has done a decent job too. However, they could do better as a bowling unit as they have conceded a lot of runs in a few games. Perhaps playing at home will allow them to execute their bowling plans better.
There is not much to speak about the performances, or lack thereof, for the Jozi Stars. Despite having a strong batting lineup on paper, they have been unable to put much pressure on the opposition. 'Universal Boss' Chris Gayle had a disastrous campaign, managing only 101 runs in 6 games. With him gone now, the team is dependent on Reeza Hendricks, skipper Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen to do the bulk of the scoring for them. A 53-ball 74 from Reeza Hendricks and 37 from captain Temba Bavuma helped the Stars score a competitive 171 in their last game. However, that wasn't enough. This is because their bowling hasn't lived up to the expectations.
Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier and Aaron Phangiso have done a decent enough job but that hasn't been good enough. There seems to be some uncertainty in the team this season and that has affected their performances. It is hard to pinpoint why the team hasn't been able to deliver this season. But the franchise and team members need to reassess and dig deep after the end of the season. A good performance in this game would certainly help their cause.
Durban is traditionally a good wicket to bat on in limited-overs cricket. The ball bounces a lot and comes on nicely to the bat. Stroke-making will be relatively easy. But the seam bowlers will also enjoy the good bounce and movement early on. The surface should remain the same throughout. There are some showers expected on the day of the match and we could see another rain-curtailed game. The moisture in the air should certainly aid the seam bowlers.
The Kingsmead stadium in Durban is one of the best grounds in the world. This has also been a good T20 wicket and over the years plenty of entertaining contests have been played here. Scores of 190-plus have been scored at the Kingsmead on three occasions and the highest total achieved by a team here is 218-4 by India v England back in 2007.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first and put on a healthy total. Batting second might not be too bad but they are likely to go with the safer route.
The last match between Durban Heat and Jozi Stars was washed out. Durban cannot afford another washout as their future in the tournament depends on their fate in this game. The Jozi Stars are already knocked out and will be merely playing for pride, with the hope that they can redeem some confidence. Durban Heat would be desperate for a clean win as that would give them a real chance to be in the top 3 on the points table and hence enter the playoffs.
Interestingly, in the last season, Jozi Stars had won both their games against Durban Heat. But then, in 2018, the Stars were playing like champions and ended as champions. They have had an abysmal season this year and are unlikely to recover from the hole they have dug themselves in.
Playing at home, and being one of the in-form teams of this season, Durban Heat will begin as favorites for the game. If we get a full game, the Durban has a real chance of winning and confirming their playoff spot.
Durban Heat to win the match!
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