Mzansi Super League

Morkel is wary of the ‘AB’ threat ahead of their second MSL outing against the Spartans

Durban Heat captain Albie Morkel is wary of the ‘AB’ threat ahead of their second Mzansi Premier League outing against the Tshwane Spartans at Kingsmead in Durban on Wednesday.

The hosts lost their opening match of the exciting new Twenty20 competition to the Cape Town Blitz at the weekend and will be looking to now bounce back with a better showing when they face off with AB de Villiers and co.

The former Standard Bank Proteas captain has been bubbling up slowly in their two previous games with 59 off 30 balls and 32 off 18, his half-century scored in a losing cause against the Blitz.

De Villiers does look mightily impressive and appears to be on the fringes of a massive performance. Morkel admits he will be the main man for Tshwane. “He’s obviously a key player for whichever side he plays for around the world,” he said. “We certainly know that and respect that.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket with him and on the day if he’s on, there’s not much you can do. We’ve got a few plans that we’re going to try out tomorrow and if it doesn’t work out then so be it.”

Long-time team-mates for both club and country, the two have now been separated for the MSL T20.

Morkel also believes the Heat can turn the AB threat into a positive. “I think he will carry a lot of pressure on his shoulders,” he added. “I’m not saying other guys in the team are not dangerous, but he is the one guy that is the stand-out in that team.

“So we’d like to actually feed off that. We’d like to think then and let him know that if he doesn’t score runs then his team might be under pressure.”

The Heat have been bolstered by the injection of internationals David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen and Brandon Mavuta for the game, which will mark the introduction of the Proteas for the first time in the competition.

The Spartans, meanwhile, are set to open their doors for their big South Africa star, Lungi Ngidi. They won a thrilling game over the weekend when they edged the Paarl Rocks by one-run n a 203 vs 202 clash at Eurolux Boland Park.

“That was a serious cricket game, we saw 400 runs and it was great entertainment for everyone,” Powerade Man of the Match from that game Theunis de Bruyn said. “It went our way even though we were not as clinical as we would have wanted to, but we’ll take the win.”

Tshwane had lost their opening game, but will now be looking to build on that win in KwaZulu-Natal. “It was a massive game for us and in such a competition where games come so quickly, the win will be a big boost,” De Bruyn, who struck 66 off 38 in Paarl, concluded. “Hopefully we can carry the momentum from that game into Durban on Wednesday.”

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