The Sunrisers Eastern Cape will host the Pretoria Capitals on Monday in a repeat of last year’s SA20 final.
Last season, the table-topping Capitals won both league-stage matches against the Sunrisers but it was the Eastern Cape franchise that won the match that mattered – the final – by four wickets.
The Sunrisers come into Monday’s clash in third place on the log after two wins from four matches, the most recent against Durban’s Super Giants at Kingsmead on Saturday, while the Capitals are in last place, having only picked up a single win in four matches.
On Saturday, Harmer claimed the Man of the Match award for his 4-18, but the veteran off-spinner was keen to emphasise Stubbs’ importance to the Sunrisers’ hopes this season.
“The confidence of the players grows when you start to get wins on the board. A guy like Stubbsy getting runs, Marco [Jansen] as well – all of that contributes to the next time those guys go out to bat.
“I thought [Stubbs] thoroughly deserved the Man of the Match award. He took us home … it’s so important when a batter gets to 30 or 40 to be 60 not out exactly like he did.
“He’s got a very mature head on his shoulders for such a young guy. As you saw [against DSG] he showcased his striking ability and ultimately that’s why guys like him get paid the big bucks because they can get performances on the board when the team really needs it.
“After we lost Aiden [Markram] we needed Stubbo to put up his hand and he did that in emphatic fashion.”
Monday’s match is a homecoming for Capitals captain Wayne Parnell.
The 34-year-old was born and bred in Gqeberha (where he attended Grey High School) and he spent his initial senior years with the Eastern Province provincial side and Warriors franchise before moving on.
Parnell, though, is looking forward, not back, after the Capitals’ loss against the Joburg Super Kings at the Wanderers.
“You can’t ponder on it too much because we obviously play [today] against the Sunrisers Eastern Cape. It’s about trying to learn – we made a couple of basic errors but you have to park it and go down there and be fresh again because it’s a big game for us.”
Sunrisers Eastern Cape squad: Aiden Markram (c), 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.
Pretoria Capitals squad: Wayne Parnell (c), Matthew Boast, Corbin Bosch, Eathan Bosch, Shane Dadswell, Theunis de Bruyn, Daryn Dupavillon, Colin Ingram, Will Jacks, Senuran Muthusamy, Jimmy Neesham, Migael Pretorius, Adil Rashid, Rilee Rossouw, Phil Salt, Paul Stirling, Tiaan van Vuuren, Kyle Verreynne, Hardus Viljoen.
Photo: Rogan Ward/Sportzpics