Sunrisers Eastern Cape 204 for 3 (Stubbs 56*, Abell 55, Markram 42, Hermann 42) beat Durban’s Super Giants 112 (Mulder 38, Jansen 5-30) by 89 runs
Their innings was rocked by the early loss of Quinton de Kock, who drove flat-footedly at Worrall and inside-edged onto his stumps for 3. He might have had two in two had Jansen not spilled JJ Smuts at slip first-ball, but Jansen made immediate amends, inducing Smuts into a chipped drive to mid-off from his second delivery, before Bhanuka Rajapaksa flapped a loose clip to the same fielder, Patrick Kruger, for a third-ball duck.
At 7 for 3, the contest was already as good as over, and though Wiaan Mulder did his best to reboot Durban’s innings in a 56-run stand with a near-strokeless Matthew Breetzke, Jansen would once again be the man to strike for Sunrisers, this time in the field. Few other players could have reached Mulder’s swing for the ropes off Simon Harmer at the end of the tenth over, but he stretched over the boundary with his arms at full extension, to send Mulder on his way for 38.
One ball later, Breetkze’s static knock of 18 from 27 balls ended as he lost his off stump to Ottniel Baartman, and in the same over, Baartman ended any faint hopes of Durban miracle. Heinrich Klaasen has been the outstanding ball-striker of the tournament, in rushing along to 447 runs at an extraordinary strike-rate of 207.90, but this time he lasted a solitary delivery, as Baartman landed his inswinger and extracted the on-field lbw from Stephen Harris, with the ball shown to be clipping leg.
The end came in a rush. Jansen returned for his third over and plucked off Keshav Maharaj’s off stump, then ended any remaining resistance with two wickets from his final three balls. Junior Dala flicked him off his pads for a token six before picking out Harmer at long-on one ball later, before another off-stump heat-seeker dealt with Reece Topley to cue the celebrations.
Durban’s display arguably went awry from the very first over of the match. They deviated from the plans that had proven so effective against Joburg Super Kings in the Qualifier, handing an opening over to the left-arm spinner Smuts that was milked for nine chanceless runs – two more than Sunrisers would concede in claiming their first three wickets. It set the tone for a passive display with the ball, even after Topley had struck with his fourth delivery in the second over, a plumb lbw against Dawid Malan (6).
That brought Abell to the middle, and though he would finish with the Player-of-the-Match award, he led a charmed life for the first 14 balls of his innings. He was dropped on 6 in Topley’s second over then survived a potentially innings-turning moment from his very next ball, as Maharaj scooped up a low chance at mid-off, but signalled to the umpires that he was unsure if it had carried. That doubt potentially informed the subsequent TV referral, despite the replays suggesting that his fingers had been under the ball.
Abell’s innings kicked up a gear as he turned to his favoured scoop shot, with a four and a six from consecutive Mulder deliveries, and with gaps suddenly appearing in the field, he rushed through to a 30-ball fifty with seven fours and two sixes inside the 10th over, with Sunrisers’ 100 coming up in the same over.
Durban hit back in style, however, with Maharaj bagging both set batters in the space of four balls. Hermann holed out to Klaasen at long-on for 42 from 27 balls, before Abell was beaten in flight on the slog-sweep to be bowled for 55 from 34. That brought Stubbs and Markram together in the 11th over, with a bit of a rebuild required at 106 for 3.
Each man picked off an early boundary but it was Stubbs who was the first to step up the tempo with back-to-back fours to end Dwayne Pretorius’ second over. After that it was over to Stubbs’ long levers, with three sixes in eight balls powering the total past 200. In the end, it would prove to be more than enough.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket