Match Report

SA20: Eastern Cape Sunrisers Wipe The Floor With Joburg Super KIngs

The Sunrisers Eastern Cape took a massive step towards finishing in the two positions of the SA20 League standings after they hammered the Joburg Super Kings by nine wickets.

John Goliath
John Goliath

Last Updated: 2024-01-31

Dillip Mohanty

The Sunrisers Eastern Cape took a massive step towards finishing in the two positions of the SA20 League standings after they hammered the Joburg Super Kings by nine wickets in a one-sided clash in Johannesburg on Wednesday night.

The Super Kings, coming off a magnificent batting display in their rain-shortened match against MI Cape Town on Monday, were bundled out for 78 at their Wanderers home in 15.2 overs.

The Sunrisers then chased down the target in 11 overs, which also gave them a precious bonus point to move into second place heading into their their last two matches of the league phase against Paarl Royals.

Now, it's basically a straight-shootout between the Sunrisers and the Royals for a place in the first playoff against the Durban Super Giants. The teams play on Friday in Paarl and on Sunday in Gqeberha, with the Sunrisers, who are two points ahead of the Royals, needing to win just one of those matches to seal their spot in the top 2.

The fourth-placed Joburg Super Kings, on the other hand, will now depend on lady luck to qualify. They will be overtaken by MI Cape Town or the Pretoria Capitals, who are in action tomorrow evening.

The only way they can keep their place in the playoff positions is if that match is a no-result.

Dan Worral (3/20) and Patrick Kruger (3/8) were the pick of the Sunrisers bowlers, and they were ably supported by Marco Jansen (2/13) and Beyers Swanepoel (2/21).

The Sunrisers' English opener Dawid Malan (40 not out off 32 balls) guided the team to victory, with Tom Abell (26 not out from 20 balls) also enjoying some time in the middle.

Sunrisers’ top-two place in plain sight

Australian-born Englishman Worral is happy their top-two fate is in their own hands.

“You get another chance if you finish in first or second place,” said Worral.

“We have got two big games coming up against the Paarl Royals. As far as I’m aware, one win from those two matches should get us in the top two spots.”

The defending champions are playing some very good cricket after another slow start. Besides the blowout against the Super Kings, they have won some really close matches, which is something that will stand them in good stead.

The key to their success is not to dwell on last season’s glory, and to play with the same passion and purpose “hunting” the SA20 trophy.

“We really made a point of acknowledging that we were the champions, but not for this year.

"Doing what we did last year, going hunting and making sure we are fighting and getting ready for the finals, has been key for us,” said Worral.

Joburg Super Kings bemoan yet another batting catastrophe

Besides their unbelievable chase the other night against MI Cape Town, when they scored 98 in 5.4 overs to win the game, the Super Kings have been horrible with the bat.

They have only managed to get over 160 twice in eight matches so far this season, and have suffered a few terrible batting collapses.

Against the Sunrisers they had three ducks in their innings, with only Wayne Madsen (32 off 23 balls) managing to scrape something together.

To be fair, they were also really unlucky, with strangles down the leg side, but they could have done much better.

Coach Stephen Fleming says they have just not been able to decipher their home surface, which has suited the fast bowlers the one day and the spinners the next.

“We have been struggling to read the wicket. There is an advantage to bowling first. The nature of the wicket … it’s sitting up, but every team has experienced that,” Fleming said.

“What we have struggled to do is really understand the nature of each surface we are playing on. I think to get the best out of your home territory you have to in sync with that. We haven’t been.

“It was one of those when everything took the edge on both sides. We beat the bat and got nothing. So sometimes it’s just not your day.”

Super Kings wait on an SA20 miracle

If it’s not tough enough that the Super Kings have to thump the red-hot Durban Super Giants in their final match, they will be hoping that weather gods do them a favour or the MI Cape Town can beat the Capitals for them to get an unlikely playoff berth.

“The scenarios are right in front of us. The unfortunate thing is, it’s out of our control. If Pretoria are good enough, then we might struggle,” said Fleming.

“We have got a chance, which is good, considering some of the performances. The nature of the tournament has allowed us to stay alive.”

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.