Cape Town – A maiden Mzansi Super League century from Reeza Hendricks and Kagiso Rabada’s career-best T20 figures powered the Jozi Stars to a 53-run bonus point victory over the Durban Heat at the Wanderers on Friday.
Hendricks’s unbeaten innings of 104 was a masterpiece of placement and timing, but also possessed the brute force that is required in T20 cricket. It took a mere 51 balls, containing nine fours and half-a-dozen sixes.
And if Hendricks’ onslaught was not enough to knock the wind out of the visitors, Rabada (4/27) did just that in the very first over of the Heat’s run chase with three wickets in four balls.
They were not just any wickets either with all three being his Proteas team-mates.
Hashim Amla was the first to depart when he edged Rabada to Hendricks at first slip before the ICC World’s No 1 Test bowler had Keshav Maharaj caught at point.
But Rabada kept the very best for last with a rip-snorter that tore straight through Heinrich Klaasen’s defences to uproot the right-hander’s middle stump.
The Heat were already going to need something special to chase down a tournament record score of 230/3, but after being reduced to 4/3 the match was virtually over as a contest.
Having watched the carnage from the non-striker’s end, Morne van Wyk battled valiantly for his 67 off 32 balls but it was simply never going to be enough.
Although Hendricks’s masterpiece was undoubtedly the premier feature of the Jozi Stars’ innings, the Proteas opener had plenty of support.
Young Ryan Rickelton, who was the previous record holder of the highest score in MSL T20, continues to impress with another sparkling 45 off only 30 balls in a 99-run opening stand with Hendricks.
That set the platform for Rassie van der Dussen (37 off 21 balls, 4×6) and Dan Christian (36 off 15 balls, 2×4, 3×6) to feast upon the misfiring Heat attack. Van der Dussen, in particular, was in a rampant mood with the right-hander smashing four successive sixes off Tladi Bokako.
Van der Dussen had the crowd at the Wanderers on their feet as he was on track for the elusive Castle 6 Pack Challenge – which is a R10 million incentive for the first batsman to hit six consecutive sixes in a match – but fell just short of the prize.
It was though indicative of the dominance the Jozi Stars had over the Durban Heat on the night.