Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Sunrisers edge Capitals to win inaugural SA20 title

Roelof van der Merwe with the ball and Adam Rossington with the bat were the star performers at the Wanderers.

The Sunrisers Eastern Cape have shocked the Pretoria Capitals to win the inaugural SA20 league at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Aiden Markram‘s team won the final by four wickets and with 22 balls remaining after chasing a target of 136 to win.

The match was postponed from Saturday after heavy rains in Joburg over the last few days made conditions unplayable on Saturday.

Roelof van der Merwe

The Capitals, who batted first, managed to score only 135 runs, with Roelof van der Merwe taking 4 for 31.

Not one player from the Capitals was able to score more than 21 runs. They were also bowled out before facing their quota of 20 overs.

The best contributions with thee bat came from Kusal Mendis (21), while Rilee Rossouw and James Neesham both scored 19.

Van der Merwe was well supported by Sisanda Magala (2/30) and Ottniel Baartman (2/22). Markram finished with 1/17 in his four overs.

In reply, the Sunrisers, who won the toss and opted to bowl first, got off to a perfect start with Adam Rossington scoring 57 runs off 30 balls at the top of the order.

Jordan Hermann with 22 and Markram with 26 were thee other main contributors.

Anrich Nortje, with 2/21 in four, was the Capitals’ best bowler.

Final six

While there was a bit of a wobble in their run chase, the Sunrisers got to their target with four wickets remaining; Marco Jansen hitting a six to win the game and secure the title.

Van der Merwe said in a field-side television interview he was “ecstatic”. “What an unbelievable game today,” said the veteran spinner. “I’m so happy.”

Jansen added: “It was a bit stressful there at the end, but we managed to get over the line.”

Adrian Birrell, the veteran coach of the Sunrisers, called the triumph the bets of his career.

“Exceptional,” he said. “We didn’t play great cricket throughout the competition, but we lifted our game towards the end and put together some good performances.”