Sunrisers Eastern Cape will meet the Pretoria Capitals in the inaugural Betway SA20 Final, courtesy of a marvellous century by their captain Aiden Markram.
The Sunrisers skipper embraced the occasion and struck a scintillating 100 off just 58 balls in the second Betway SA20 semi-final against the Joburg Super Kings at Centurion that powered the Eastern Cape side to 213/5.
Markram displayed fantastic temperament as the Sunrisers were reduced to 10/2 after losing both openers Temba Bavuma and Adam Rossington early on to Lizaad Williams (4/41).
But that was when the experienced Markram made the ultimate difference as he formed a match-turning 99-run partnership with Jordan Hermann.
The Betway SA20 has unveiled plenty of young South African talent and young Hermann certainly showed that he is one to look out for in the future with a composed 48 (36 balls) that helped resurrect the Sunrisers’ innings.
With Tristan Stubbs (20) and Jordan Cox (18) adding a couple of cameos along with Makram’s powerful strikes, it allowed the Sunrisers to post an imposing 213/5.
The Super Kings’ chase got off to the worst possible start when their in-form captain Faf du Plessis pulled Sisanda Magala’s first delivery of the innings straight to deep square-leg.
The Super Kings' woes were compounded when Leus du Plooy followed shortly for another duck as the Sunrisers exerted their dominance.
But the Wanderers-based side were not ready to give up without a fight. Reeza Hendricks kept the Super Kings in the contest until the final over with superb 96.
Ultimately, though, it was Sunrisers’ night as the Super Kings fell short by 14 runs as they finished on 199/5.