Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

SA20: Top five performances ahead of the final

There have been a number of top performances in the competition so far, and here are five of the best ahead of the final.

The SA20 competition has been a rip roaring success for Cricket South Africa, and the Pretoria Capitals will be up against the Sunrisers Eastern Cape in the final at Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon.

The match was scheduled to be played on Saturday evening, but a water-logged field and inclement weather forced organisers to postpone the final. The match will now start at 1.30pm Sunday.

The Capitals are well-deserved finalists with them having been the best team in the competition winning eight out of their 11 games.

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The Joburg Super Kings were then favourites to also qualify for the final, only for them to be upset in the second semi by the Sunrisers, who made the showpiece match.

There have been a number of top performances in the competition so far. Here then are five of the best ahead of the final.

Hundred up

Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis and Heinrich Klaasen made it three centuries in the inaugural edition of the SA20 with the final still to come.

All three put in superb efforts that helped their respective teams clinch important wins.

Markram’s was arguably the best of the lot as it came in the semifinal against the Joburg Super Kings, with his 100 off 58 balls proving decisive as the Sunrisers posted 213/5 batting first, before holding on for a 14-run win.

Klaasen’s was the most explosive of the competition as his unbeaten 104 came off just 44 deliveries and helped Durban’s Super Giants set a number of records in an innings that they managed to amass an incredible 254/4 before beating the Capitals by 151-runs.

Du Plessis was the first century of the SA20 with his sparkling unbeaten 113 off 58 balls leading the Super Kings to a dominant eight wicket win over the Super Giants.

SA20 top five performer Heinrich Klaasen
Heinrich Klaasen of Durban’s Super Giants. Picture: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images

The Bulldog’s six-for

Sunrisers bowling all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe has rolled back the years in the SA20 and has played a huge part in his side reaching the inaugural final.

At 38-years-of-age, the Bulldog, as he is affectionately known, has been in top form and is third on the wicket taking list going into the final.

He also produced arguably the bowling performance of the competition when he picked up brilliant best ever T20 figures of 6/20 to help the Sunrisers claim a thumping 124-run win over the Super Giants.

SA20 top five performer Roelof van der Merwe
Roelof van der Merwe of Sunrisers Eastern Cape. Picture: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images

Jansen’s assault

Another Sunrisers performance that makes the list is rising all-rounder talent Marco Jansen’s incredible assault that helped drag his side back from the brink of defeat to an amazing two wicket win over the Mumbai Indians Cape Town.

With his side chasing 172 to win and in deep trouble on 101/6 after 14.1 overs, needing a highly unlikely 71 to win off just 35 balls with just their bowling all-rounders left, Jansen then produced what commentator Kevin Pietersen called:  ‘one of the greatest T20 innings you will ever see.’

He proceeded to smash the ball to all parts of the St George’s cricket ground as he powered his way to 66 off just 27 balls, hammering three fours and seven huge sixes to get his side right to the brink, and although he was unable to take them home it was undoubtedly his effort that proved decisive in the Sunrisers winning the game.

SA20 top five performer Marco Jansen
Marco Jansen of Sunrisers Eastern Cape. Picture: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images

Brevis produces the goods

Rising talent Dewald Brevis had the perfect start to the SA20 competition as his superb effort in the opening game led his team, MI Cape Town, to a comfortable eight wicket bonus point win over the Paarl Royals.

After his side’s bowling department did well to restrict the Royals to just 142/7 batting first, Brevis then starred with the bat as he struck an unbeaten 70 off 41 balls as he led his team to a decisive win.

Unfortunately it proved to be his best effort in a tournament that turned out to be disastrous for MI Cape Town as they finished bottom of the table, but with two more scores in the 40s Brevis is an undeniable talent and at 19-years-old still has plenty of time to grow.

SA20 top five performer Dewald Brevis
Dewald Brevis of MI Cape Town. Picture: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images

Nortje brilliance

One of the main reasons for the Capitals’ success so far in the inaugural SA20 is the brilliance of express seamer Anrich Nortje.

SA20 top five performer Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje was starred throughout the competition. Picture: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images

Although he hasn’t had any major stand out performances, with his best figures a wonderful 3/12 against the Super Kings that helped his side skittle them out cheaply before clinching a six wicket win, it’s been his relentless consistency that has impressed the most.

He leads the wicket taking charts with 18 scalps at a superb average of 13.55, top economy rate of 6.28, and he has only gone wicketless in one of the 10 games that he has played for the Capitals.