GQEBERHA: Sunrisers Eastern Cape’s skipper Aiden Markram led from the front and powered his side to a four-wicket triumph over MI Cape Town in the ninth match of the ongoing SA20 here.
Set to chase 163, the Sunrisers amassed the total with just three balls to spare courtesy of a vital eight-run knock by James Fuller at the death after Markram and Sarel Erwee laid the foundation for the run chase.
The Sunrisers had a frustrating start to their pursuit as the side lost openers Adam Rossington and JJ Smuts for a mere nine runs in the third over.
Skipper Markram, however, then stood up for his team and put on an anchoring third-wicket partnership with Erwee as they raised 92 runs at a decent pace.
The duo looked to have made it an easy affair for their side before Rashid Khan provided a much-needed breakthrough to MI Cape Town in the form of Erwee who perished after scoring 41 off 45 balls, hitting three boundaries and two sixes.
MI Cape Town bowlers made a strong comeback into the game in the next over when Odean Smith removed Markram and Jordan Cox (1) when the side still needed 52 runs.
Markram top-scored for his side with 50 off 35 deliveries, laced with seven boundaries.
Following the slump, Tristan Stubbs led the Sunrisers’ run chase with a responsible 30-run knock and also put on a match-winning partnership with Jansen (16) before Fuller completed the pursuit with two back-to-back boundaries in the final over.
Smith led the bowling attack for MI Cape Town with 3/23 while Sam Curran bagged 2/37. Rashid, however, made one scalp.
Put into bat first, MI Cape Town could only amass 158/8 in 20 overs despite a quickfire 63-run knock by George Linde as the rest of the batters failed against Sunrisers’ bowlers.
Linde top-scored for his side with 63 off just 28 balls and hit four fours and five sixes.
Besides him, only Rassie van der Dussen remained the notable run-getter with his 22-ball 29.
Ottniel Baartman was the pick of the bowlers for the Sunrisers as he returned with 3/45 while Markram claimed 2/8. Sisanda Magala and Jansen picked two and a wicket respectively.