Sunrisers aiming for strong finish to SA20 group stages
Having taken the third spot on the Betway SA20 log at the weekend, the Sunrisers Eastern Cape will be looking to make a push for the top two places when they take on the Joburg Super Kings at the Wanderers on Wednesday (5.30pm).
Their first encounter, which was meant to get the competition started earlier in January, was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
JSK will be confident after they overcame MICT by 10 wickets via the DLS method when rain forced the game to be shortened to eight overs a side at Newlands on Monday.
Coming off the back of an agonising four-run defeat in Gqeberha, MICT’s misery was compounded when JSK, chasing 98 runs for victory, did so inside 6.2 overs, resulting in a bonus-point win which saw them leapfrog both MICT and Pretoria Capitals into fourth spot on 13 points.
SEC, who have 19 points after seven matches, know exactly what they need to do to cement their place in the top four after Durban’s Super Giants booked their place in the next round with two games to spare.
After their clash against JSK, SEC travel to Paarl for the first game in a double header weekend against the Paarl Royals on Friday before the return fixture at St George’s Park on Sunday.
SEC all-rounder Liam Dawson said they needed to keep playing their brand of cricket and not focus too much on their opponents.
“They are good teams playing good cricket, but so are we,” Dawson said.
“We are a very tight-knit group.
“We get on well and play for each other, so there’s a lot of fight in our group and our changing room, and winning makes that easier.
“With three huge games left against dangerous teams from Johannesburg and Paarl, we will need to be on it from the first ball to the last [in each encounter].”
The Sunrisers have struck a rich vein of form, winning four of their last five matches, and in each of those wins the men in orange have shown a team resilience that has become a trademark of how they want to play their cricket.
Dawson said the squad depth they possessed this season was amazing because the team were closer than ever, whether they were part of the playing XI or not.
One unintended victim of that depth is Adam Rossington, who has struggled to nail down a regular starting berth this season after being one of their star players last season.
“It’s obviously quite difficult,” Dawson said.
“He won the final for us last year and is a good, dangerous player, but sport is a funny game. Injuries and a loss of form can come about.
“That is where we as a group are very tight and together.
“It’s not just the 11 who play, it’s the whole squad who have to make this work.
“It’s the entire 16-17 players, including the back room staff, as well.”
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