Nelson Mandela Bay Giants 163 for 5 (Roy 50, Smuts 33, Siboto 2-41) beat Durban Heat 160 for 5 (Bopara 57*, Miller 45, Burger 2-24) by five wickets
Durban Heat may have felt that they had dug themselves out of a hole after posting 160 from a precarious 50 for 4 in the eighth over, and may even have briefly entertained thoughts of a maiden win, but against the MSL's top team this season, it wasn't quite enough. For table toppers Nelson Mandela Bay Giants who maintained their supremacy with their fourth win in five matches, Jason Roy set things up with a 38-ball 50 at the top and Chris Morris closed off the chase in thrilling fashion with just one ball to spare.
Roy dominated the opening stand worth 68 with Matthew Breetzke, before he was caught short of his ground by England team-mate Alex Hales halfway into the 11th over. But No. 3 and captain JJ Smuts took over, racing to 15 off eight balls with the help of a four and a six, before Breetzke, who had laboured to 25 off 31 fell to the legspin of Shaun von Berg.
Just as the Giants looked like coasting to their target, they lost three wickets in quick succession, Malusi Siboto removing the dangerous Smuts for 33, before accounting for Marco Marais for a five-ball 11 only two balls later. That left the Giants 31 to get from 15 balls, and the equation came down to 16 required from six before Morris clobbered a six and two consecutive fours off Siboto to seal the match with his 22 off 10.
Earlier, Heat lost their way after opting to bat against an attack featuring three of the tournaments' top five wicket takers. But it was the lesser known medium pace of Nandre Burger that did the damage, first accounting for Hales for a leading edge on the off side and then Wihan Lubbe, who scooped a catch to mid-on.
Captain Dane Vilas fell to his counterpart Smuts, before Imran Tahir had the set Wesley Marshall caught at long-on to leave them four down. It was then that David Miller and Ravi Bopara got together for the highest stand of the match, adding 100 in 70 balls, to bring Heat back into the contest. Miller was strangled down the leg side for a 36-ball 45, but Bopara batted through, finishing unbeaten on a 43-ball 57. Eventually, though, their efforts were in vain.
Heat are yet to win a match this season, with three washouts to their name so far, and are currently second from bottom.