A four-fer from Roelof van der Merwe and a half-century by wicketkeeper-batter Adam Rossington helped Sunrisers Eastern Cape capture the first-ever SA20 title by defeating Pretoria Capitals by four wickets in the summit clash at Johannesburg on Sunday.
Chasing 136, SEC lost Temba Bavuma (2) early into their innings, with the score reading 11/1 in 1.2 overs. Eathan Bosch got the first wicket.
Following this, the duo of Rossington and Jordan Hermann unleashed some brutal power-hitting on PC, finding the gaps and skies effortlessly.
At the end of six overs of the powerplay, SEC was at 76/1, with Rossington (52*) and Jordan (21*) at the crease. Spinner Adil Rashid got among the wickets, dismissing Jordan for 22 off 17 balls to end the 67-run partnership for the second wicket. SEC was 78/2 in 6.4 overs.
Skipper Aiden Markram was next up and he helped his side cross the 100-run mark in 9.4 overs. Anrich Nortje’s fiery pace gave PC a breakthrough, dismissing Rossington for 57 off 30 balls which consisted of four boundaries and five sixes. SEC was 103/3 in 10.1 overs.
Colin Ingram soon dismissed Markram for a 19-ball 26, reducing SEC to 113/4 in 12.3 overs.
SEC lost two more in quick succession, with James Neesham taking Jordan Cox (7) and Nortje dismissing Tristan Stubbs (5). SEC was 126/6 in 15.3 overs.
Marco Jansen (13*) then came out and did the job for SEC, hitting a four and a six to complete the chase with four wickets in hand and 22 balls to go. Brydon Carse was unbeaten at 0* on the other end.
Nortje (2/21) was the leading bowler for PC. Neesham, Ingram, Rashid and Bosch took a wicket each.
Earlier put to bat first by SEC, Pretoria was bundled out for 135 in 19.3 overs. Kusal Mendis (21) was the only player to cross the 20-run mark while other notable players like Phil Salt (8), Rilee Rossouw (19), James Neesham (19) failed to make an impact with their willow.
Merwe finished with a spell of 4/31 in four overs, which earned him the ‘Man of the Match’ title. Sisanda Magala, Ottniel Baartman took two wickets each while Jansen, Markram took a wicket each.
Markram was also given the ‘Man of the Tournament’ award. He scored 366 runs in 12 matches at an average of 33.27 with a century and fifty. He also took 11 wickets in the tournament.
Brief Scores: SEC: 137/6 in 16.2 overs (Adam Rossington 52, Aiden Markram 26, Anrich Nortje 2/21) defeated Pretoria Capitals: 135 in 19.3 overs (Kusal Mendis 21, James Neesham 19, Roelof van der Merwe 4/31) by four wickets. (ANI)