PAARL: Aiden Markram grabbed two wickets before scoring a crucial 23 to steer Sunrisers Eastern Cape to a commanding five-wicket win in the SA20 against Paarl Royals, here on Thursday.
Royals were crushed on their home ground after an unsatisfactory batting effort as they were stuck at 127/7 in the allotted 20 overs after they were put to bat.
Sunrisers, on the other hand, accomplished the paltry target in the 19th over amid intermittent jolts handed by Bjorn Fortuin and Lungi Ngidi but Jordan Hermann’s cautious 43 off 39 proved worthwhile in the low-scoring chase.
Skipper Markram led Sunriser’s bowling attack as he earned the breakthrough in his very first over, cleaning up Jason Roy on 6 before Sisanda Magala quickly removed England’s captain Jos Butler on 12 with a stunner by Brydon Carse.
Wihan Lubbe and Corbin Bosch made a shaky effort to revert the early scars, scoring 28 and 20 runs, respectively, but it could only endure for five more overs before Carse and
Roelof van der Merwe stormed through the middle order, pocketing two wickets each.
Meanwhile, star middle-order batters Eoin Morgan and David Miller failed to fire in as they were swiftly removed on 2 and 10, respectively off Carse and van der Merwe.
Sunrisers, however, made a promising start to their chase notching up 35 runs in 3.3 overs before Ngidi castled two in two balls, removing opener Adam Rossington (20) and Sarel Erwee (0).
Markram gathered a cautious 58-run partnership with Hermann to bring sanity to the batting order and moved their side closer to the target before Fortuin jittered the Sunrisers with three wickets in an over, dismissing the two and Jordan Cox.
Marco Jansen and Tristan Stubbs, however, chipped in with unbeaten 18 and 21, respectively to take their side home.