06 Feb DSG ready to face Sunrisers’ firepower in Betway SA20 Qualifier 1
Maharaj and Markram reflect on team readiness
Monday, 5 February 2024: There is precious little to separate Sunrisers Eastern Cape and Durban’s Super Giants when they meet in the much-anticipated Betway SA20 Qualifier 1 at Newlands on Tuesday.
The two teams have both been the form teams of Season 2 with the Sunrisers edging out DSG for top spot on the table after the round-robin stages by just one point.
The Super Giants had led the way for the majority of the competition, managing to attain seven wins and three defeats.
The Sunrisers, meanwhile, have the same number of wins, but have only lost twice.
The defending champions have certainly been much more consistent in Season 2 than when they snuck into the playoffs last season.
“It is a proud moment (to finish first on the log). We are a fantastic group of guys led by a fantastic group of management who have put in hard work,” said SEC captain Aiden Markram.
“But in every sense, the competition only really starts now for us, these are the games that matter moving forward, but to finish first on the table is something to be proud of.
“The team will definitely be up for it (the Qualifier). It is a game to get straight to the final, and there isn’t a bigger incentive in cricket, so there is no doubt the attitudes will be fantastic as they have been throughout the season.”
The Super Giants are certainly well aware of the challenge they face in the bid to qualify directly for Saturday’s final at Newlands.
“They (Sunrisers) have been playing really good cricket. They are a side in form, having won four in four, and have played really well in various conditions. They are the champions for a reason,” said DSG captain, Keshav Maharaj.
“I think we have to execute our plans, in terms of both batting and bowling. We know what firepower they do have.”
Sunrisers captain Markram was equally cognisant of the threat the Super Giants pose, especially star batter Heinrich Klaasen.
“DSG is a fantastic team. They have played some really good cricket throughout this competition,” he said.
“They have all bases covered from batting, as well as seam and spin bowling.
“A player (Klaasen) like that you are always looking to get him out. You don’t want him to spend too much time at the crease because we’ve all seen the damage he can do.
“We will refine those plans because it’s been a while since we’ve played against them, and if they come off on the night, it will be fantastic.”
The Sunrisers will have a settled squad heading into Tuesday’s playoff with Englishman Tom Abell set to be fully fit after missing the final round-robin match against the Paarl Royals on Sunday, although seamer, Fareed Ahmed, has left to join the Afghanistan national team.
The Super Giants, meanwhile, have also lost Afghanistan mystery spinner Noor Ahmed and West Indian Kyle Mayers to international duty, although they have brought in Australian all-rounder Ashton Agar as cover.
The prize on offer for the winner on Tuesday evening is an automatic place in Saturday’s covered final at Newlands.
The loser faces a trip up to Johannesburg to face the winner of Qualifier 1 between Paarl Royals and Joburg Super Kings in Qualifier 2 on Thursday evening at the Wanderers.
This match will start at 17h30 (SAST).
Video from the pre-match press conference featuring Aiden Markram (SEC) and Keshav Maharaj (DSG) is available for editorial use in the below link.
Rights free images from the Betway SA20 are available below.
FULL SQUADS FOR QUALIFIER 1 AT NEWLANDS
Sunrisers Eastern Cape: Aiden Markram (captain), Tom Abell, Ottniel Baartman, Temba Bavuma, Liam Dawson, Sarel Erwee, Aya Gqamane, Simon Harmer, Jordan Hermann, Marco Jansen, Patrick Kruger, Dawid Malan, Adam Rossington, Caleb Seleka, Andile Simelane, Tristan Stubbs, Beyers Swanepoel, Daniel Worrall.
Durban’s Super Giants: Keshav Maharaj (captain), Ashton Agar, Matthew Breetzke, Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, Tony de Zorzi, Heinrich Klaasen, Wiaan Mulder, Naveen-ul-Haq Murid, Bryce Parsons, Keemo Paul, Dwaine Pretorius, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jon-Jon Smuts, Jason Smith, Prenelan Subrayen, Reece Topley.
MATCH OFFICIALS FOR QUALIFIER 1 AT NEWLANDS
Match referee: Gerrie Pienaar
Standing umpires: Stephen Harris and Babalo Gcuma
TV umpire: Arno Jacobs
Reserve umpire: Abdoellah Steenkamp
Playoff and Final Dates
6 February – Qualifier 1 Newlands
Sunrisers Eastern Cape vs Durban’s Super Giants
7 February – Eliminator Wanderers
Paarl Royals vs Joburg Super Kings
8 February – Qualifier 2 Wanderers
Loser of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Eliminator
10 February – Final Newlands
Winner of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Qualifier 2
- In the event of an interruption, in both the playoffs and final, there will be 120 minutes of extra time before overs are lost.
- There is no reserve day for the eliminator and qualifiers, if no result is achieved on the scheduled day, then the team that placed higher on final log standings will progress as the deemed winner.
- For the final – if no result can be achieved on original final day, play will resume on the reserve day from the position the game was in (no restart). All efforts will be made to achieve a result on original day.