Proteas all-rounder Marco Jansen was humble as ever as he played down his extraordinary match-winning innings for the Sunrisers Eastern Cape against the Mumbai Indians Cape Town in the SA20 league on Wednesday afternoon.
Chasing 172 to win, and with the Sunrisers basically dead and buried on 105/6 after 15 overs, Jansen stepped up to slam a career best score, crunching 66 runs off just 27 balls, including seven sixes and three fours , to help his side to a two-wicket win with three balls to spare.
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Jansen took aim at one of the best T20 bowlers in the world, Rashid Khan, in the 16th over, hammering four sixes and a four as 28 runs came off of it.
He also took aim at Proteas star Kagiso Rabada, slamming him for three sixes and a four over two overs, in an amazing show of power hitting.
The only star bowler he didn’t get a hold of was England pace merchant Jofra Archer, who he smartly saw out of the attack during his final over, which was the 17th of the innings.
Asked after the game if his impressive 59 against a rampant Australian bowling attack Down Under last month had given him confidence in his batting, Jansen said it had, while he also admitted that he just managed to come off when targeting Khan and Rabada in the game.
“I was happy that it (his innings on Wednesday) turned out the way it did. Whether it’s red ball or white ball, if you spend time at the wicket it will give you confidence. So I definitely took a bit of confidence out of that (Australian match) innings,” said Jansen.
“It’s only one day. He’s (Khan) a world class bowler and luckily today it went my way. At that stage we had to make a plan and target one bowler and after that first ball went for six I just decided to see what happens and go with it.
“I don’t know what happened there (Jansen said of a Rabada ball he slammed back over his head for six). I told myself just look at the ball and if it’s there just go with it.”
Sunrisers captain Aiden Markram was thrilled with Jansen’s innings, and he was pleased with the performance of veteran Roelof van der Merwe, who took 2/21 with the ball and scored four not out.
“That was special what Marco did and to see that happen at a venue (Newlands) like this was awesome,” said Markram.
“The bulldog (Van Der Merwe’s nickname) always finds himself in these types of situations and that’s partly why we selected him after the first two games.
“We wanted those characters to stand up and he did really well with the ball and he found himself there at the end with the bat. So we were happy that he was there at the end.”