Match Report

Simon Harmer and Tristan Stubbs Shine as Sunrisers Eastern Cape Claim Victory

Simon Harmer and Tristan Stubbs produced class displays with the ball and bat respectively as the Sunrisers Eastern Cape beat the Durban Super Giants by five wickets in an SA20 League match at Kingsmead

John Goliath
John Goliath

Last Updated: 2024-01-20

Dillip Mohanty

Simon Harmer, Tristan Stubbs guide Sunrisers to victory over Super Giants

Simon Harmer and Tristan Stubbs produced class displays with the ball and bat respectively as the Sunrisers Eastern Cape beat the Durban Super Giants by five wickets in an SA20 League match at Kingsmead in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

A week is a long time in cricket, as the Sunrisers were thumped by the Super Giants at home in Gqeberha last Saturday. Harmer was punished for 53 runs in his three overs, as former Sunrisers star Jon Jon Smuts went berserk during that encounter.

However, in the words of Harmer, "one day you're the statue and other days you are the pigeon ..."

Harmer set up the game the Sunrisers with a sensational bowling performance of 4/18 in his four overs. His victims included all of the Durban Super Giants' big hitters, Matthew Breetzke, Smuts, Heinrich Klaasen and Australian Marcus Stoinis.

Harmer helped to restrict the home side to 159/7 in their 20 overs, even though Wiaan Mulder played a brilliant knock towards the end of the Super Giants' innings.

The off-spinner was pretty desprate to do well the after the mauling he took at the hands of the Super Giants.

"I was probably the culprit of that loss (against the Super Giants). When one of your bowlers is going for 53 in three overs ..." said Harmer

"They should have got 190, but ended up getting 225, and it was mainly my fault. I took that on the chin.

"I expect high standards of myself. I’m an incredibly competitive person and to sit in the changeroom knowing I let my team down was probably what hurt the most.

"So there was no shortage of motivation and wanting to do well. Unfortunately in T20 cricket it doesn’t always work out like that, but luckily for me it I managed to learn from my mistakes."

The chase wasn't going to be easy, and at 97/4 the game was in the balance with just over five overs to go. However Stubbs showed his class and is finally justifying his R9 million price tag in the SA20 auction.

Stubbs smashed 66 of 37 balls, which included five boundaries and three huge sixes to guide his team team to victory with four balls to spare.

"I thought Tristan Stubbs deserved the man-of-the match award. He took us home," said Harmer.

"It’s so important when a batter gets 30 or 40 that they go to a 60 not out like he did. He has a very mature head on his shoulders for such a young guy.

"That’s why guys like him get paid the big bucks because they can put performances up when the team really needs them."

The Super Giants have now lost two matches in a row following their three-match unbeaten run at the start of the competition. And, with the matches coming thick and fast, they will have to improve to stay in control of their own destiny ahead of the playoffs.

"The first three games as a team we all played really well. The key going forward is to win those small battles again," said Mulder, who scored his first half-century in the SA20.

Breetzke continues to impress at the top of the order

Quinton de Kock’s rather ordinary tournament for the Super Giants continued on Saturday. After hitting his trademark pick-up pull off Daniel Worrall out of Kingsmead, he nicked the ball behind attempting a cut shot.

However, his opening partner Matthew Breetzke continues to impress. He targeted Worral in the fifth over, smashing a six and a four before the new man at the crease Smuts smashed another one out of the ground.

Breetzke hit another three fours from the next over before Harmer turned things around from the visitors.

Revenge is a dish best served cold for Harmer

After taking an absolute pasting in the first match between the two teams, Harmer decided to start off around the wicket to the right-hand batsman in an effort stay out their hitting ark.

Breetzke hit a four from his first ball and it looked like the Super Giants would repeat their exploits against him. However, Harmer trapped Breetzke (35 off 24 ball, 5x4, 1x6) LBW the very next ball.

Next man in Klaasen made his intentions clear from the start of his innings, hitting left-arm spinner Liam Dawson for a four and six, before Harmer stuck again, getting rid of Smuts, who has smashed him to all corners of St George’s Park a week ago.

Harmer then got the two big wickets of Stoinis (1) and Klaasen (31 off 17 ball, 1x4, 3x6) in successive overs to leave the Super Giants on 90/5 after 13 overs.

Mulder to the rescue for Super Giants

It looked like the Super Kings were heading for a below par total, but all-rounder Wiaan Mulder had other ideas.

Mulder started to counter punch and feasted at end of the innings when the fast bowlers came back. He was especially brutal on his opposite number Marco Jansen, who he clobbered for four sixes in a row in the 19th over.

Mulder was well supported by Dwaine Pretorius who added 23 off 21 balls, the pair sharing a 61 stand for the sixth wicket to give their fellow bowlers something to bowl at.

Mulder thought their total was a bit short even though the previous match at Kingsmead produced a low-scoring affair between the Super Giants and the Joburg Super Kings.

"It was one of those wickets which you didn't know what a good score is. Obviously if you look at how they played, we were probably about 10-15 runs short," said Mulder.

 "The first couple of balls I faced was really diffcult on this surface, there was a bit more bounce and little bit of turn. Every now and then one stopped, so I didn't find it easy," said Mulder.

"But I think getting myself in and getting myself a chance to asses the wicket helped me. Things also went my way."

Bad start for the Sunrisers in the power play

The Super Giants picked up Dawid Malan (2), before De Kock ran out Tom Abell (1) to leave the Sunrisers on 37/2 after the completion of the six-over power play.

Captain Keshav Maharaj then trapped the dangerous Jordan Hermann (25) in front to put the Durban side in control of the match.

Proteas Stubbs, Markram, Jansen show their class

It was now up to the Sunrisers’ big players to come to the party. And the fightback started well with Markram and Stubbs sharing a half-century stand.

Stoinis briefly put the brakes on with the big wickets of Markram and Patrick Kruger from successive balls, leaving the Sunrisers needing 58 from the final 30 deliveries.

Stubbs and Jansen then shared a wonderful unbeaten partnership of 66 off 33 balls, with the former going to wonderfully played half-century in the process to win the game for his team.

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.