Sunrisers undisputed SA20 champions

Orange Army turn on charm to achieve back-to-back title success

Sunrisers Eastern Cape captain Aiden Markram and franchise owner Kavya Maran lift the SA20 trophy as they celebrate with the team on Saturday at Newlands in Cape Town
KEEPING TROPHY: Sunrisers Eastern Cape captain Aiden Markram and franchise owner Kavya Maran lift the SA20 trophy as they celebrate with the team on Saturday at Newlands in Cape Town

The Sunrisers Eastern Cape were streets ahead of Durban’s Super Giants and the rest of their opposition in season two as they successfully retained their Betway SA20 title in Cape Town on Saturday evening.

The Orange Army looked relaxed ahead of the showdown, having claimed victory over the same opponents by 51 runs in the first qualifier to advance directly to the final.

They posted a commanding 204 for 3, thanks in large part to half-centuries from Tristan Stubbs [56 not out], Tom Abell [55], and 42 apiece by skipper Aiden Markram and Jordan Hermann, as they turned on the charm to claim a crushing 89-run victory in front of a predominantly sea of orange at Newlands.

The men from Durban, who were required to catch two additional flights to Johannesburg where they beat the home team Joburg Super Kings by 69 runs in the second qualifier before returning to Cape Town to contest the final, could only register 115 runs as they were bundled out in 17 overs.

Left-arm seamer Marco Jansen was devastating up front and at the back end of the innings claiming 5/30 from four overs, while two wickets each by Ottniel Baartman and Dan Worrall ensured the men from Gqeberha locked out the top three spots on the wicket-taker list. 

The two SA seamers were rewarded for their outstanding performances this season, as Jansen took home the Rising Star of the Season award, while Ottniel Baartman secured the Bowler of the Season accolade, while the team took home the Spirit of Cricket Award.

“I said last year that if we made the final, we stood a great chance of winning it, but this year I didn’t have that feeling,” Jansen said post-match.

“It’s something new for me to play in two finals back to back.

“I didn’t know what to expect and I’m sure some of the guys also didn’t know what to expect.

“We just tried to go out there and give our best, we executed our plans well with the bat, ball, and in the field, so I didn’t have that same feeling that I had last year.”

Markram and his charges have been clinical in all departments, and it showed on the results table as they finished the group stages with seven wins, with a six-game unbeaten run at the back end of the competition to lift the trophy again.

“I think it’s quite rare that you go through a competition where you win quite a few games on the bounce like we did,” Markram said.

“You expect a loss at some stage simply because of how busy the schedule is and how good the teams are.

“When you do get a bit of momentum, it’s important to go two, three, four wins and get comfortable on the log.

“But it’s just execution of plans, we do our homework on players, and back ways to either keep them quiet or get them out, if it goes well and the tails are up, things tend to go well for us, the results go well too.

“It’s completely fair and understandable if the guys are slightly off the boil on the odd occasion.”



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