Match Report

SA20: Sunrisers Eastern Cape thump hapless Pretoria Capitals

The Sunrisers Eastern Cape blew the Pretoria Capitals away with the ball to set up a crushing nine-wicket victory over their opponents in their SA20 League match at St. George’s Park.

John Goliath
John Goliath

Last Updated: 2024-01-22

Dillip Mohanty

The Sunrisers Eastern Cape blew the Pretoria Capitals away with the ball to set up a crushing nine-wicket victory over their opponents in their SA20 League match at St. George’s Park in Gqeberha on Monday evening.

The Capitals recorded the lowest total in the competition’s short history when they were bundled out for just 52 runs in 13.3 overs on a pitch that definitely had something in it for the Sunrisers’ seamers.

The previous lowest total in the SA20 was 80 runs by the Durban Super Giants against the Pretoria Capitals in the first season of the competition in 2023.

The Sunrisers chased down the target in 6.5 overs, therefore earning a much-needed bonus point and giving their net run-rate a massive boost as the SA20 heads into the business end over the next two weeks.

The win moved the Sunrisers to second in the standings on 15 points thanks to their bonus-point. They are currently three points behind log leaders Paarl Royals.

After five matches the Pretoria Capitals find themselves in a spot of bother at the bottom of the standings on four points after only one victory in the tournament so far.

Pretoria Capitals openers Phil Salt (10) and Will Jacks (12) were the only batsmen for the visitors to get into double figures and put on a 25-run stand for the first wicket. But the visitors lost nine wickets for 27 runs with a combination of questionable shot-making and excellent bowling.

All of the Sunrisers’ bowlers were on the money, with Daniel Worral (3/22) and Marco Jansen (2/11) striking upfront, before man-of-the-match Ottneil Bartman (4/12) and Patrick Kruger (1/5) wrapped up the innings.

"We got the better of the conditions. There was a southeasterly wind and normally that brings a little bit of swing," Baartman said after the match.

"The two opening bowlers set the tone, especially with the two early wickets in the power play. If you lose three wickets or more in the power play, you normally lose the game.

"That actually settled my nerves, knowing that there is something in the wicket. You had to bowl a Test match length today, and luckily that worked for us."

The Pretoria Capitals' batting a major concern ...

It's the second consecutive match that the Capitals have struggled with the bat.

In their previous match against the Joburg Super Kings they found themselves 67/6, but managed to claw their way to 167/9 thanks to Kyle Verreynne's half-century.

Against the Sunrisers they were unable to dig themselves out of the hole. 

Salt and Jacks again went hard at the start of their innings, but after Worral and Jansen struck, the Capitals' batsmen went out almost as soon as they arrived at the crease.

The Sunrisers bowled really well, but there were also a couple of big shots played which resulted in catches in the deep. Instead of keeping calm, the Capitals tried to hit themselves out of trouble and were eventually dismissed for 52 all out.

Capitals coach Graham Ford said they would also have bowled if they had won the toss because of the overcast conditions and a pitch that had a lot more grass on it than usual.

"With the overhead conditions and a little more grass on the wicket that we’re used to, there was always going to be a bit in it for the bowlers," said Ford.

"That little bit of extra support for the bowlers certainly helped, but at the same time we have to give credit to the Sunrisers' bowlers because they hit the lengths that were required on that pitch."

The Capitals like to play and attacking brand of cricket with the bat to put pressure on the bowlers. But they probably needed to be a bit more circumspect when the wickets started falling in clusters.

Ford admitted that they should have maybe tried to regroup a little earlier, but paid homage to the Sunrisers' bowlers for exploiting the conditions.

"We want to play an attacking brand of cricket and we wanted to do that here. I supposed there has to be a time when you have to suck it up a bit and absorb it, and maybe we didn’t adapt to do that," said Ford.

"We like to play positively … sometimes that works in your favour because it can throw bowlers off their lengths. On a pitch that is supporting the bowlers, if you can throw them off their lengths then you can go forward positively.

"Fair play to the opposition, they bowled immaculate lengths. If we looked back at it, we hardly played and missed, we nicked the ball. We also of managed to find fielders when we shouldn't have."

Sunrisers chase the score with relative ease

Despite the pitch being good for bowling, the Sunrisers would have fancied themselves to get the job done sooner rather than later. The bonus point was of course there for the taking.

The home side lost David Malan (1) at the start of the second over when Senuran Muthusamy took a brilliant catch in the covers off the bowling of Wayne Parnell.

But the Capitals didn’t have enough runs on the board to put pressure on the Sunrisers’ batters, but they were also guilty of giving the home side a lot of freebies with the ball. They bowled too many short balls wide of the wicket, unlike their Sunrisers counterparts.

This was bread and butter for Sunrisers batters Jordan Hermann (20 not out off 17 balls) and Tom Abell (31 not out off 22 balls), who shared a quick half-century stand to get their team over the line at the end of the seventh over.

Sunrisers look good after slow start to SA20

After the slow start to the competition, the Sunrisers are now well and truly in the mix to make the playoffs. They Eastern Cape outfit also started slowly in the previous edition of the SA20 before going on to win the final.

"Some teams are slow starters and take a while to find their feet," Baartman said.

"We are now finding our feet and getting a feel for the conditions. For us, we are looking forward to the next couple of games to take us deeper in the competition."


John Goliath
John GoliathSenior Sports Writer and Editor

John Goliath is a copywriter and editor with 20 years' experience in the sports media industry. John, a Tottenham Hotspur tragic, studied journalism in the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and has worked for two of the biggest media houses in South Africa.