Match Report

Joburg Super Kings Late Push For SA20 Glory Gains Momentum With Paarl Royals Win

Down and out not so long ago, the Joburg Super Kings seem to be peaking at the right time in the SA20 League after they beat the Paarl Royals by nine wickets in the first Eliminator on Wednesday.

John Goliath
John Goliath

Last Updated: 2024-02-07

Dillip Mohanty

Down and out not so long ago, the Joburg Super Kings seem to be peaking at the right time in the SA20 League after they beat the Paarl Royals by nine wickets in the first Eliminator on Wednesday evening.

The Super Kings, who sneaked into the fourth and final playoff spot with their last match of the league phase, are now one match away from the final after a comprehensive win over the beleaguered Royals at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

The Super Kings will face the Durban Super Giants in the final playoff match at the same venue on Thursday evening. One of those teams will face the Sunrisers Eastern Cape in Saturday’s SA20 final at Newlands.

After a few bad results and rained out fixtures, the Joburgers are starting to play some of their best cricket. They were all over the hapless Royals, who bowed out of the tournament with their fifth successive defeat after initially flying at the start of the SA20.

The Royals were in trouble early, and it was basically done after the power play when they lost four wickets. Despite captain David Miller's fighting 47, they could only manage 138 all out halfway through the 18th over.

Sam Cook (4/24) was the chief destroyer, aided by two brilliant catches by the 44-year-old Imran Tahir.

Tahir (2/33) then closed out the innings with his leg-spin to give the Joburg Super Kings a great chance to chase down below par target.

The Super Kings then came out with good intent, as Leus du Plooy (68 off 43 balls) and captain Faf du Plessis (55 not out off 34) blew the Royals bowlers out of the water. The Super Kings reached the target with 6.2 overs to spare.

More to follow ...

Royals have to find batting solutions for 2025

English seamer Cook, making his debut in the competition after Lizaad Williams was ruled out injured, decimated the Royals' top order batting. Cook and Nandre Burger (3/26) left the Royals reeling on 43/4 after five overs. 

Cook claimed the big wicket of England white-ball captain Jos Buttler, while Jason Roy again flattered to deceive with a 14-ball 24.

It may have been the last time we see Roy in a Royals jersey in this competition following two terrible seasons at the top of the order for the Paarl side.

Tahir got major scalp of Royals captain Miller, while also bowling Bjorn Fortuin with a lovely googly through the gate.

"With the T20 format it's about intent and pacing your innings and pacing the way you play. We had a couple of dismissals that were unlucky and they took good catches," said Royals batting coach Siddhartha Lahiri.

"But when you are four wickets down (in the power play) the dynamics change and you're always playing catch up. The T20 format is a momentum game, and once you lose a few matches you sometimes struggle.

"We have had really good starts and partnerships at the start of the tournament and showed intent. But we lost our way a little bit."


Super Kings' stroll to the win good signs ahead of "semi-final"

Du Plooy showed his intent early on by smashing 18 runs off Codi Yusuf's first over.

With the injured Lungi Ngidi on the sidelines, the Super Kings' batsmen had a feast.  Du Plooy, who reached his 50 off just 29 balls, and captain Faf du Plessis dominated the power play and scored 63 within the first six overs.

Their 100-run partnership came up in just 62 balls, especially killing off the game before the Royals could land a punch with the ball.

It was almost the perfect performance for the Joburg side, who will now back themselves to get a win over the Durban Super Giants at their home venue on Thursday in a "semi-final" scenario. The winner will play the Sunrisers in the final.

"It's a great time to have a performance you always aim for," said Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming.

"We weren't 100 percent accurate with the ball, but we had some luck and hit the right area for long enough. The chase to get such a good start just kills the game."

The the short turnaround ahead of the final qualifier, as well as the advantage of playing at home, could be key for the Super Kings.

The Super Giants are coming off the disappointment of their defeat against the Sunrisers and have to travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

"The key for us may be that there is no time to over think it. We are straight into the next match," said Fleming.

"The big advantage is that we didn't have to travel and we are playing in conditions we know and starting to understand. One more game at home is an advantage, but you still have to put in another good performance to make it count."

John Goliath
John GoliathSenior Sports Writer and Editor

John Goliath is a copywriter and editor with 20 years' experience in the sports media industry. John, a Tottenham Hotspur tragic, studied journalism in the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and has worked for two of the biggest media houses in South Africa.