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Sunrisers Eastern Cape win another SA20 title with win over Durban’s Super Giants

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The Sunrisers topped the log after the round-robin stages before delivering a champagne performance in Saturday night’s grand final to send Durban’s Super Giants packing.

Sunrisers Eastern Cape players celebrate with the trophy after beating Durban’s Super Giants in Saturday’s SA20 final at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town. Picture: Nic Bothma, Sportzpics

The Sunrisers Eastern Cape have done the SA20 double!

Last season they surprised all and sundry to lift the inaugural title. Now they are the undisputed best team in SA20 history.

The Sunrisers topped the log after the round-robin stages before delivering a champagne performance in Saturday night’s grand final to send Durban’s Super Giants packing.

From the moment captain Aiden Markram won the toss and elected to bat, they were superior in every discipline.

The batters created the scoreboard pressure with an imposing 204/3. Partnerships were key in setting up the total with a 90-run stand between Tom Abell (55 off 34 balls, 8×4, 2×6) and Jordan Hermann (42 off 26 balls) setting the platform.

And then Markram (42 not out off 26 balls) and Tristan Stubbs (56 off 30 balls, 4×4, 3×6) provided the fireworks at the backend with 98 off 55 balls. Stubbs outshone his skipper with a combination of power hitting and some fantastic running between the wickets to maintain the pressure on the Sunrisers.

But the contest was always going to be decided in the battle between Sunrisers’ impressive seam attack and the Super Giants’ much-vaunted batting unit.

It was the Sunrisers who landed the heavy blows first by taking three wickets in the Power Play.

Dan Worrall went straight through Quinton de Kock’s defences before Marco Jansen(5/30) and Patrick Kruger combined twice in the fourth over to send Jon Jon Smuts and Bhanuka Rajapaksa back to the pavilion.

The Super Giants were reeling at 7/3 and there was simply no way back from there.

Wiaan Mulder attempted a counter-attack with 38 off 22 balls, but when he was brilliantly caught by the tallest man on the field Jansen at long-on, all resistance crumbled.

Ottniel Baartman has been the standout bowler for the Sunrisers all campaign, and his captain Markram has made the bold claim ahead of the game that the Oudtshoorn-born fast bowler relished the big occasion.

His skipper was not wrong. Baartman charged in from the Kelvin Grove End with great purpose and energy last night.

He was also getting the ball to swing and move sideways off the seam that brought an end to a miserable night for Matthew Breetzke. The Sunrisers opener struggled to get the ball of the square throughout his 27 balls and eventually succumbed to the pressure when an ill-judged lap shot led to his demise for just 18.

But Baartman kept his best ball for the prized scalp of Heinrich Klaasen. The Super Giants master blaster was the last remaining hope for the Durban side, but Baartman rifled an in-swinger straight into his pads first up.

Umpire Steve Harris immediately raised his finger, and although the decision was reviewed, it only delayed the inevitable.

After all the pre-match hype, Klaasen was gone for a first-ball duck – and ultimately DSG’s fate on the night sealed.

From thereon the inscriptions could begin on the Thomas Lyte silverware with Jansen providing the coup de grace to finish with a hugely-impressive 5/30 to send the travelling Sunrisers’ “Orange Army” fans into delirium.

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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