SA20 series: Sunrisers beat Royals in final group round match

Henry

The Sunrisers Eastern Cape can rightly feel that they have been neglected in the SA20 series for the second consecutive year.

The Sunrisers played in a packed St. Georgepark in Gqeberha beat the Paarl Royals by five wickets in the last group match of this year’s series.

The Sunrisers, the defending champions, finished first on the points table (33 points) with Durban’s Super Giants second (32), Paarl Royals third (22), Joburg Super Kings fourth (17), Pretoria Capitals fifth (14) and MI Cape Town last (13).

This means that the Sunrisers and Super Giants will play as the top two teams in Tuesday’s first play-off game at Newlands.

The Paarl Royals and Joburg Super Kings face each other on Wednesday at the Wanderers.

The winning team will play the loser of Tuesday’s clash between the Sunrisers and Durban’s Super Giants at the Wanderers on Thursday.

The final will take place on Saturday at Newlands, for which all tickets have already been sold out.

The Royals batted first against the Sunrisers on Sunday and scored 159/7 in their 50 overs, with Jos Buttler (38), Dane Vilas (34) and Wihan Lubbe (27) best with the bat.

Otniel Bartmann took 2/33.

The Sunrisers, with their home crowd dressed in orange and all singing and dancing, ended on 165/5 after the showdown was interrupted for a long time by rain.

The standouts with the bat were Aiden Markram (36), Temba Bavuma (33) and Patrick Kruger (26* from just seven balls), with Andile Phehlukwayo (3/33) as the Royals’ best bowler.

The Sunrisers and Giants are neither playing at home in the playoffs, but the players and coaches have been aware of the stipulations for months. It was done this way to attract at least another 100,000 additional spectators to the play-off games.