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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Betway SA 20: Hermann, Baartman star in Newlands thriller

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Cape Town: From the inaugural Betway SA20 season it was clear that the Sunrisers Eastern Cape were on to something.

In Cape Town on Tuesday evening, Jordan Hermann simply reconfirmed that he is a batsman for the future.

The 22-year-old delivered a magisterial innings of 106 not off 62 balls (8×4, 6×6), joining the growing list of Betway SA20 centurions, to power the Sunrisers Eastern Cape to a thrilling four-run victory over MI Cape Town.

It was an innings built on precision, touch, delicacy and the just amount of brute force required in virtually the perfect T20 innings.

There was a touch of good fortune early on when Hermann drove hard at Kagiso Rabada just two balls into the innings, but the edge burst through young Connor Esterhuizen’s hands at slip.

From thereon Hermann, along with Dawid Malan who was making his Betway SA20 debut, dominated proceedings with the pair compiling a 138-run opening wicket stand.

Malan showed all his experience with 53 off 37 balls (4×4, 3×6) which proved to be the perfect guiding hand for Hermann to express his talent.

The rising star carried his bat through the end, bringing up his three-figure milestone in the final over, which received rich applause from the knowledgeable Newlands crowd, as the Sunrisers closed their innings at an imposing 202/2 – the highest SA20 score in Cape Town.

MI Cape Town’s opening pair of Ryan Rickelton and Rassie van der Dussen have been in imperious form though and provided the home team with the perfect start.

The pair have already put together partnerships of 82 and a record-breaking 200 before adding a further 108 on Tuesday evening to set MI Cape Town on course for a record chase.

However, Rickelton’s departure for 58 off 33 balls (2×4, 5×6) followed by Van der Dussen’s (41 off 28 balls, 3×4, 2×6) within two overs of each other stemmed MI Cape Town’s momentum.

The double loss of Dewald Brevis and Liam Livingstone shortly afterward created further pressure before captain Kieron Pollard (24 off 19 balls) and Sam Curran resurrected the home team’s chase with a 53-run partnership of 33 balls.

Ultimately, it left MI Cape Town requiring 15 runs off the final six balls with Ottniel Baartman (3/35) handed the responsibility of sending down the final over.

Baartman’s task became even greater when MI Cape Town rookie Connor Esterhuizen belted the first ball over midwicket for six which reduced the equation to nine off five balls.

Baartman, who was retained by the Sunrisers, held his nerve though by sending down inch-perfect yorkers for the defending champions to edge home in thrilling fashion in Cape Town for their first victory of Season 2.

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