Johannesburg — Faf du Plessis sent another timely reminder to the Proteas selectors that he remains one of the premier limited-overs batters in the world at a raucous Wanderers on Sunday.
Du Plessis followed his maiden Betway SA20 century with another T20 masterclass as his 92 off 61 balls booked the Joburg Super Kings’ place in the semi-finals later this week.
The former Proteas captain looked a class apart from the other batters on show as he still managed to time the ball sweetly on a sluggish Wanderers pitch.
He also once again dominated the 119-run opening stand with Reeza Hendricks as the latter played a supporting hand with 40 off 36 balls. It followed their 157-run partnership against Durban’s Super Giants.
An illustration of how tough the surface was to bat was illustrated after Hendricks’ departure. The Sunrisers reigned in the JSK batting unit as the home team managed just a further 41 runs in 5.4 overs while losing five wickets to finish on 160/6.
Proteas seamer Sisanda Magala (2/24) was excellent during this period, while captain Aiden Markam (2/7) picked up the Super Kings’ new Aussie recruit Matthew Wade and Donovan Ferreira in a golden over.
The Sunrisers’ chase began in the worst possible fashion with the Super Kings dominating the PowerPlay. The visitors lost three crucial wickets for just 29 runs with Adam Rossington (1), Jordan Hermann (5) and JJ Smuts (0) being dismissed cheaply.
Super Kings tearaway Gerald Coetzee was certainly charging in at the Bullring as he beat both Hermann and Smuts for pace.
Throughout this frenetic period for the Sunrisers, it was Temba Bavuma that maintained his composure though. The Proteas limited-overs captain was fresh off a golden duck in Betway SA20 debut, but he looked much more assured on his beloved Wanderers patch.
Bavuma kept the Sunrisers’ flame alive with a 34-ball 50 (5x4, 2x6) that was highlighted with a sweet maximum over mid-wicket off Romario Shepherd.
Unfortunately for Bavuma and the Sunrisers there was no further support besides Aiden Markram’s 34 as Super Kings debutant Kyle Simmonds ran through the visitors’ middle-order as the visitors finished on 136/9.
Simmonds showed great control from the Corlett Drive End to finish impressive figures of 3/24 before Maheesh Theekshana took over to complete the job with 2/31.
Joburg Super Kings: 160/6 (Du Plessis 92, Hendricks 40, Magala 2/24, Markram 2/7)
Sunrisers Eastern Cape: 136/9 (Bavuma 50, Markram 34, Simmonds 3/23, Theekshana 2/31)
Super Kings won by 24 runs