South Africa discard – Nono Pongolo emerged as the unlikely hero for the Jozi Stars, with the bowling all-rounder smashing two consecutive sixes in the final over to take his team over the line by one wicket in a Mzansi Super League thriller at Kingsmead. The Stars had made heavy weather of their run chase after earlier dismissing the Durban Heat for just 128. The visitors’ Stars seemed entirely out of the contest when they were left requiring 12 runs off the final two balls of Marchant de Lange’s last over. But that is when former Proteas pacer De Lange suffered a brain fade moment and delivered two waist-high full tosses in succession, with one of those deliveries being called a ‘no-ball’. Also Read - Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra on Saliva Ban Debate After Southampton Test: James Anderson Looked Half The Bowler
To rub further salt into the Heat’s wounds, Pongolo smashed both balls into the stands to notch up an improbable victory for his team. It was the most unlikely victory after the Stars had been reduced to 58/6, due to some excellent bowling from Rasheed Khan (3/19) and some comical running between the wickets. Also Read - ICC World Test Championship Points Table Latest Update: West Indies Record First Win And Move Ahead of South Africa
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Captain Dane Vilas (43 off 36 balls) and Simon Harmer (25 off 22 balls) resurrected the Stars innings with a 48-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Earlier, Sarel Erwee (62 off 39 balls) had kept the Heat innings afloat with a half-century.
The left-handed opening batsman only had support from his skipper Albie Morkel (29 off 29 balls) as the home team’s struggles with the bat continued. Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was the most impressive bowler for Jozi Stars, closing off the innings with figures of 3/29.
There were also two wickets apiece for Duanne Olivier (2/25), Dan Christian (2/25) and Harmer (2/20).
Their good work was almost undone, though, when Jozi Stars’ premier run-getters Chris Gayle (5) and Reeza Hendricks (8) failed to get out the blocks, but Pongolo ensured the bowlers’ efforts would not be in vain