Marco Jansen smashed 66 off 27 balls as the Sunrisers Eastern Cape beat MI Cape Town by two wickets at Newlands.
The visitors were staring down the barrel before Jansen hit 28 runs off a single Rashid Khan over to swing the momentum in their favour.
The MI Cape Town captain was dispatched for four sixes and a four in the 16th over.
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“At that stage, we had to make a plan, we had to pick one bowler. After the first ball went for six, I just decided to see what happens and try and go with it,” Jansen said post-match.
Sunrisers captain Aiden Markram had opted to put the home side in to bat after winning the toss and his decision paid off when Sisanda Magala removed Dewald Brevis early on.
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Grant Roelofsen (56 off 36 balls) and Ryan Rickelton (46 off 36) rebuilt the MI Cape Town innings before Ottniel Baartman (2-21) dismissed the pair in the space of three deliveries.
Roelof van der Merwe (2-21) followed suit when George Linde and Sam Curran fell in consecutive balls but the hosts rallied back to post 171-6.
In reply, the Sunrisers slumped to 57-4 in the ninth over, before Tristan Stubbs began the recovery with 28 off 21 balls.
The Proteas batsman was run out by Sam Curran to put MI Cape Town back in charge, but then came the Jansen blitz that allowed the Sunrisers to celebrate getting off the bottom of the log.