Cape Town, Feb 7: After seamers, Ottniel Baartman and Marco Jansen powered the Sunrisers Eastern Cape to their second consecutive SA20 final with a convincing 51-run victory over Durban Super Giants in the Qualifier 1, skipper Aiden Markram shared his thoughts on the team's performance and future, reflecting on the contributions of key players like Baartman.
The Sunrisers' 44-run victory over Paarl Royals in their final league stage match cemented their status as one of the most formidable challengers for the crown.
Speaking on getting into the finals for a second year in a row, Sunrisers Eastern Cape captain Aiden Markram said, “I wouldn’t say anything new that we've done or tried. Looking back at the group stages of the competition, we have had quite a few close games. And if you manage to win those close games, or most of them at least, you end up sitting in a great position. So we have been fortunate to get over the line in those close games. We had like 4 or 5 of them. Last year we probably missed out on a couple of those close ones, but this year we managed to get over the line. And because of that, it has sort of been a fantastic campaign for us.”
Baartman, who is the leading wicket-taker of SA20 season 2 with 16 wickets, has impressed a lot. Markram praising Baartman tagged him as the most impactful and challenging player.
“Yeah, he has been fantastic for us. He is known in South Africa to be a really good death bowler. He has got great plans and tends to execute them really well. Obviously, there has been a couple of games he has missed out on due to a few niggles, but that happens in a busy competition like the SA20. Every time he has played for us he has taken that responsibility of bowling the really tough overs and he enjoys that challenge. And he has got the skill set to execute it. So we are really happy that he is in our team and our changing room and we have got his skills at our disposal. It's great for him to go from strength to strength each year,” he added.
Markram, who is currently captain of the South Africa T20 and ODI teams, also discussed his stint as the Sunrisers captain, saying it has been a learning experience.
“Yeah, it's been fantastic. There is an opportunity to learn a lot in the last year or so that I have been captain. I have been captaining a while, so it’s nice to be captain again and take up that responsibility. Obviously, you learn on the job and make the team a better place for everyone to enjoy themselves and be the better team on the field as well. Love the opportunity to be captain and the responsibilities that come with it. A lot of credit goes to the management at SEC and the players that have walked in here have understood the culture and how we like things to run. I’m not sure about IPL just yet, but if I compare it to last year, you’ve got different cultures and different people with regards to the SA20 and the IPL.” (IANS)