Tuesday’s final Mzansi Super League group fixture for the Durban Heat against the Jozi Stars at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium is effectively a quarter final for Gary Kirsten and his team as a win will guarantee them a spot in the eliminator on Friday in Port Elizabeth.
The match will be the last game of the group phase so the Heat side know that should they win then they will face the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on Friday.
It’s been a more than frustrating campaign for Kirsten and his side who have lost four of their nine games to weather and of the others they have won three and lost two.
The three wins have come in their last three games with wins against the table topping Paarl Rocks, the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and the Cape Town Blitz.
Despite the frustration the Heat has got itself within a win of a first play-off and coach Kirsten puts that down to a strong squad of players.
“I think we are very happy with our squad,” Kirsten said. “Our intention was to pick a squad with good balance to it and one of the keys has been the left-hand, right-hand combinations.
“We’ve had left-handers in throughout most of the competition which has been really helpful for us as well as having a mixture of accumulators and power hitters in the order.
“What we might have lacked is out-and-out pace bowling. You need that in these conditions but that is something that we have learnt on the way.”
The Heat have relied heavily on their experienced men through the campaign but it has been the unheralded Wihan Lubbe who has been a shining light for the side which is a big part of what this competition is about.
“It’s great to see some younger players get a chance and do well and we have been really happy with how our younger players have done.
“Our wildcard pick (Wesley Marshall) and Wihan, who was one of our late picks, have come good and they are playing every game.
“I always get excited by that and have been very happy with our squad,” Kirsten added.
Kirsten hopes that the Durban public and the Heat supporters head to Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium to cheer on their side this Tuesday.
“It’s going to be all to play for on Tuesday so we hope that the fans come through.
“There is a good vibe at the ground at the moment and we look forward to having a decent crowd at the game,” he mentioned.
The game is scheduled to start at 17:30 with gates opening at 16:30. Tickets are available at ticketpro.co.za and at the stadium ticket office.
More information can be found at www.durbanheat.co.za.
DURBAN HEAT’S REMAINING FIXTURE
Tuesday, December 10: 17h30
Durban Heat v Jozi Stars
Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium
Friday, December 13: 17h30, Play-off, 2nd v 3rd
(reserve day if required on Saturday, December 14, 12h30)
Monday, December 16: 17h30, Final
(reserve day if required on Tuesday, December 17, 17h30)