Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Sunrisers ‘delighted’ after coasting into SA20 trophy contest

"It's pretty hard to get to a final, especially when every team can beat anyone."

Head coach Adrian Birrell said title holders Sunrisers Eastern Cape were relieved to book their place in this weekend’s SA20 final with a convincing triumph over Durban’s Super Giants in Cape Town on Tuesday night.

After setting their opponents a target of 158 runs to win their qualifier playoff at Newlands, the Sunrisers bowled out the Super Giants for 106, earning a 51-run victory.

The Eastern Cape side were spearheaded by opening batter Dawid Malan, who made 63 runs off 45 balls, as well as seam bowlers Ottniel Baartman (4/10) and Marco Jansen (4/17) who were superb with the ball.

“They (Super Giants) are a formidable side, so for us to come and beat them like this in such a big game is just fantastic for us,” Birrell said.

Birrell admitted it had been a hard-fought battle in the league stage of the competition, with the Sunrisers having rocketed to the summit of the standings in the run-up to the playoffs, as they set their sights on retaining the trophy.

“It’s pretty hard to get to a final, especially when every team can beat anyone. There are no easy games,” he said.

“We feel very fortunate that we have got to the final. We’re really delighted.”

Upcoming playoffs

While the Sunrisers progressed straight to the final, Durban’s Super Giants must turn out in another qualifier in Johannesburg on Thursday against either the Paarl Royals or Joburg Super Kings, who will meet in an eliminator clash at the Wanderers on Wednesday.

While the Sunrisers earned an extra two days rest, the Super Giants were facing a quick turnaround as they geared up for Thursday’s key playoff encounter.

Fast bowler Junior Dala said they were nonetheless confident of being able to recover in time at the back end of the month-long tournament.

“It’s just about getting to Joburg, being mentally fresh and seeing who we’ll be playing against,” Dala said after the defeat to the Sunrisers.

“We’ll back our skills, try get over the disappointment of tonight, and come Thursday hopefully we’re firing.”

The winners of Thursday’s match will face the Sunrisers in the trophy battle in Cape Town on Saturday.

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