Couch Critic provides the betting preview for the Mzansi Super League match between Paarl Rocks and Durban Heat which takes place on Wednesday 4th December
PAARL ROCKS vs DURBAN HEAT- Paarl (Wednesday, 04 December – 17:30)
Off the back of winning four of their last 5 matches the Paarl Rocks have scampered to the top of the leader board and the onus now lies on a desperate Durban Heat side to topple the high-flying Boland based outfit if they are to keep their slim hopes alive in the competition.
Setting the Scene:
The Durban Heat finally got their ducks in a row and picked up two straight victories over the Blitz and the NMB Giants (of all teams). This late flourish has left the Durbanites with an outside chance of still sneaking into the playoff, but for that to happen they need to extend their winning streak right until the very end of the competition. Whilst Hales still hasn’t found the sweet spot of his bat veterans in the form of Miller and Vilas have recently stepped up to the plate whilst Wihan Lubbe’s lusty blow are becoming a common sight. Maharaj has been the standout with the ball.
Losing Dwaine Pretorius was hardly ideal for the Rocks. Makhanya stepped up to the plate beautifully on Sunday to help fill the Pretorius void. Fortuin and Shamsi remain the key bowlers yet Udana seems to have found his feet in the side of late. The Paarl side are still waiting on their top three to really deliver a strong effort in a game, with Faf being particularly disappointing thus far.
Let’s Talk Tactics:
Both teams have been in good form of late so perhaps the conditions could tell us a bit more of what to expect. The home side have picked up two wins from their three home matches. The Paarl track is yet another SA pitch known for being on the slower side and thus it comes as no surprise that the Fortuin-Shamsi combo has enjoyed so much success here. Aaron Phangiso and George Linde have also returned tidy figures on their visits to Paarl. In general chasing down a decent total is a tough feat but Dean Elgar challenged this theory when he led the Spartans to an 8 wicket victory when chasing down 185.
The Heat really need Alex Hales to come to the party at the top whilst there needs to be more assistance for their Protea spinner if they are to derail the Rocks. The Rocks only have to guard against flopping at the top of the order. Their batting line-up does look a touch thin at times yet the newly found form of Makhanya as well as inclusion of Verreynne has done a lot to minimise this risk.
The edge has to lie with the home side but at the odds I won’t get involved in the match outcome. Maharaj is a standout bet for me here. The number one SA test spinner has really been at the top of his game of late and he should find the Boland Park pitch to his liking. His team mate, young Lubbe, has been in superb hitting form so I will stick with him in the maximum market.
For the home side I like Bjorn Fortuin to be in the mix with the ball and perhaps he could do enough to secure the award at the end of the evening. James Vince has missed out the last few times, but I reckon the Pom will be back to his best.
(Note, all odds quoted are subject to change)
Enjoy the cricket and happy punting!